Winton Motor Raceway
TeamVodafone hold high hopes ahead of Winton
With Winton Motor Raceway proving to be a happy hunting ground for TeamVodafone in recent years, teammates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are hoping the fifth event of the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Series will yield positive points this weekend.
The duo, who are separated by less than a race win in the Championship standings, have both celebrated victory on the 3km Victorian circuit - Lowndes with three race wins and Whincup with two.
I think it's healthy to have competition between teammates.
Whincup, who leads the V8 Supercar Championship Series by 142 points has also enjoyed qualifying success, starting from pole in 2009, but insists that team effort is the key to success.
"At a time where we are 1-2 in the championship, our main aim is to work together and try harder than ever to maintain that focus." Whincup said
"Winton has been good to TeamVodafone in the past, but that doesn't guarantee anything this weekend.
"It is the test track for all the Victorian teams so we absolutely have to be on our ‘A-Game’ to beat them at home,” Whincup said.
Craig Lowndes has not finished off the podium at Winton in the past two years. The TeamVodafone driver won both races in 2009, the event which saw the debut of the Dunlop Soft tyres. He finished second to James Courtney in both races last year but rates his teammate as his stiffest opposition this weekend.
“I think it's healthy to have competition between teammates," Lowndes said. "It will keep us at the top of our game and at the end of the day we will support each other no matter what the result might be.
"Winton is one of my favourite race tracks, it has 12 turns and short straights so late braking is the key to passing. It is quite technical, a real drivers track.
"We have had a lot of success at Winton so we are really looking forward to returning and pulling out all stops to keep us in our current 1-2 position in the Championship,” Lowndes added.
With this weekend also marking the first of four events to feature Friday practice time for the V8 Supercar teams endurance co-drivers Mark Skaife and Andrew Thompson will both be out on track.
For the second time this year, teams will contest all sessions on the soft compound Dunlop tyres.
The V8 Supercars will take to the track on Friday May 20 for practice. Saturday's activities will include qualifying and Race 10 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series with qualifying and Race 11 to conclude the event on Sunday.
TeamVodafone's live raceday blog will run from the pit garage during both races with coverage to kick off at 4.00pm (AEST) on Saturday May 21 and from 1.00pm (AEST) on Sunday May 22.