Whincup returns to the top three

Jamie Whincup's four race horror run has come to an end, with the TeamVodafone driver enjoying a welcome return to the top three after finishing second in the opening race at Symmons Plains today. Team mate Craig Lowndes also kept his championship hopes alive finishing fifth and well in the points.

After qualifying third earlier in the day, Whincup got a good start and maintained his position through to the opening of the pit window. A sensational stop by the TeamVodafone pit crew was the key to moving up the order with Whincup second after the stops had been completed.

Whilst not able to quite match the pace of Race 1 winner Garth Tander, Whincup was optimistic that the team would find a bit more overnight.

"I am very happy with the result," Whincup said. "It is good to get points for the first time in five races."

"The car was really very good, but the biggest plus of all was the sensational pitstop by the team."

"We need a little bit more pace to catch Garth (Tander) so we will sit down tonight, look at the data and see what we can come up with for tomorrow's two races," Whincup acknowledged.

Despite gaining a position off the start Craig Lowndes slipped back to fifth following his compulsory pitstop after bogging down his Ford Falcon racecar while exiting the pit bay.

Lowndes battled for position with Steven Richards for nearly 40 laps but was forced to settle for fifth after brake temperatures soared during the dual and made it difficult for the TeamVodafone driver to maximize on his position.

"I got a reasonable start and basically stayed out of trouble until the pitstop but then made an error in the stop and bogged the car down which lost me a spot to Steven Richards" Lowndes explained.

"We had a good battle from there, but brake temperatures are an issue at this track when you are following closely and eventually they got too hot to be able to try and make a pass."

Tomorrows two 50-lap V8 Supercar races will commence 11.45am (EST) and 3.30pm (EST).

-credit: teamvodafone/fluidpr.com.au