Whincup breaks through for inaugural AGP win
It's been seven years since he first turned a V8 Supercar wheel on the streets of Albert Park and Jamie Whincup has finally broken through for his first ever race victory at the Australian Grand Prix.
Whincup, who started from the front row of the grid alongside teammate and pole sitter Craig Lowndes, opted to gamble and start the race on the soft compound tyres.
The daring strategy paid off and by the time the pitstop window opened, the TeamVodafone driver had amassed an impressive 13.7 second lead.
Whincup pit for hard tyres and fuel on Lap 14, and despite a small moment on his outlap commanded a comfortable lead over a hard charging Garth Tander to the chequered flag.
“We got off to a great start and I have finally had my first big win at Albert Park,” Whincup said.
“Given that I haven’t been feeling too flash I am very happy with this result
“The soft tyre strategy at the start was high risk but with no safety cars it paid off and I still had a 10 second gap at the end,” he added.
Teammate Craig Lowndes started on a different strategy to Whincup opting to start the race on hard tyres.
A clash for position with Shane Van Gisbergen on Lap 2 left the #888 Commodore with a broken steering arm and forced him into the pits for repairs.
Lowndes eventually finished the race 27th and said he has some work to do tomorrow to get back up the order.
“I actually got a fantastic start today,” Lowndes explained. "I think I am finally getting on top of my starts.
“We ran an alternative strategy to Jamie, starting on the hard tyre option so it was always going to be difficult to hold off the guys on softs.
“Unfortunately in the tussle of hard racing Shane (Van Gisbergen) and I touched and I broke my steering. I am looking forward to starting on softs tomorrow and hopefully gaining some track position," he concluded.
The TeamVodafone duo will book-end the field for the start of Race 2 with race winner Whincup starting off pole position and Lowndes starting from the last row of the grid.
Race 2 of the Albert Park 400 will commence at 6.20pm (AEDST) tomorrow.