Tough end to a long year for TeamVodafone
The TeamVodafone garage was filled with emotion this afternoon following a gut wrenching finale in Sydney where Jamie Whincup narrowly missed out on his third consecutive V8 Supercar Championship title.
Both TeamVodafone drivers put in a gutsy effort in today's leg of the Sydney 500 with Whincup finishing fifth and teammate Craig Lowndes behind him in sixth.
Whincup, who started on the first row of the grid, pressed on against his rivals but a decision not to make a pit-stop during the last safety car period caused him to fall back in the race.
Placing second in this year's championship just 65 points behind winner James Courtney, the car #1 driver was clearly thwarted by today's result but said he gave it everything he had.
"I was pretty disappointed to lose my number one spot. I gave it everything I had and I can be proud of my efforts," Whincup stated.
"It's a little selfish of me but we did a good job this year and I can't help but feel like the championship was stolen from me.
"The car worked really well and I was happy with it but unfortunately deciding not to pit on the last safety car hindered us in the race," he admitted.
Teammate Craig Lowndes broke the lap record with a swift 1:29.3901sec lap, .0559 secs faster than Mark Winterbottom's time.
Despite his pace, Lowndes suffered a setback on the 66th lap after he slid through Winterbottom's oil and into a wall.
Finishing the championship in fourth place, Lowndes said the ending could have been better but was looking forward to a well earned break.
"It was a much better day today. We didn't quite get the start we wanted but our strategy was good and we had excellent car balance towards the end.
"It was a pity we got caught in Winterbottom's oil at turn one, otherwise we could have had a much better result.
"I'm looking forward to a well earned break and recharging the batteries for next year," he added.
TeamVodafone will be back in action next year for the Yas V8 400 in Abu Dhabi on February 10-12.