Whincup storms home for third in a tough weekend for TeamVodafone.For Immediate Release: 2nd August 2009TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have finished third and fifth respectively in today's 14th race of the 2009 V8 Supercar ...
Whincup storms home for third in a tough weekend for TeamVodafone.For Immediate Release: 2nd August 2009TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have finished third and fifth respectively in today's 14th race of the 2009 V8 Supercar Chammpionship Series at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge, despite enduring another testing day on the iconic Sandown circuit.
Both drivers struggled with understeer during the morning's short 20 minute qualifying session and faced a challenging start to the 65-lap race from nine and twelfth on the grid.
In a race that continually evolved, the TeamVodafone pitcrew were kept on their toes as safety car periods played havoc with strategy.
Whincup worked his way into second after his first compulsory pitstop, but a safety car on Lap 30 of the race prompted the team to call in both cars for their second stop. Lowndes was the victim of circumstance on this occasion dropping through the field to 20th by the time he rejoined the race.
Whincup also lost a number of positions through pitlane traffic but managed to fight his way back up to third before the chequered flag fell. "We did it tough this weekend," Whincup said. "We haven't quite been on our game all weekend."
"It has been a huge week for the team and to move forward in the long term there were always going to be a few interruptions in the short term. But in this environment operating at 99% means you are back in the pack.
"We will spend the next three weeks regrouping and putting all our effort into the remainder of this year's championship, especially as the endurance events are just around the corner," Whincup explained.
Teammate Craig Lowndes made the best of his situation and drove a solid second half of the race passing 15 cars on his way to finishing fifth.
"Qualifying really hurt us today," said Lowndes. "The car was actually good enough to win the race but considering everything that happened I am happy with fifth."
"I had a little too much understeer at the start of the race but the team made an adjustment when I came in for my second pitstop and it was perfect after that. It really enabled me to move up through the order.
"We head home and do our homework before our home event at Queensland Raceway," he added.
TeamVodafone will return to their Brisbane base to begin preparing for the Queensland 300 which will be held at the teams test track, Queensland Raceway, on August 21- 13.