Dual podium for TeamVodafone and Championship lead for Whincup
Defending V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup has become the current Championship points leader after finishing second in today’s opening 50-lap race at the Trading Post Perth Challenge. Teammate Craig Lowndes joined him on the podium after an impressive drive from 16th to third.
With weather conditions changing throughout qualifying, Whincup didn't move to the soft compound tyres until the final stages of the session, clocking the third fastest time on his final lap.
Going against the grain, the defending Champion started the 50-lap race on softs and moved into second position on the opening lap. A battle ensued with race leader Mark Winterbottom and Whincup took the race lead on Lap-14.
During the TeamVodafone drivers final pitstop, the #1 Commodore suffered a hydraulic clutch issue, costing Whincup valuable time in the pits and handing Winterbottom back the race lead. Whincup rejoined in second place and maintained his position until the race end.
It was a frustrating qualifying session for teammate Craig Lowndes who after starting the session on a wet tyres, switched to softs as the track dried out. As the #888 driver was preparing to set a qualifying lap the rain returned and he was forced to switch back to wets, only managing the 16th fastest time.
Lowndes started the race on the hard tyre compound tyres, switching to softs on lap 23. The TeamVodafone driver gained 11 positions over the course of the 50 lap race to finish third and claim his first podium finish of the season .
Jamie Whincup now leads the V8 Supercar Championship Series by 51 points with a total of 917 points. Craig Lowndes sits in fourth on 643 points.
The Trading Post Perth Challenge will conclude tomorrow with two 15 minute Qualifying sessions starting 9.25am(WST) followed by Race 8 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at 11.15am (WST) and Race 9 at 2.05pm (WST).