TeamVodafone ready to bridge the gap at Winton With hundreds of man hours dedicated to the preparation and setup of their racecars, TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are eager to repay their crew for their...
TeamVodafone ready to bridge the gap at Winton
With hundreds of man hours dedicated to the preparation and setup of their racecars, TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are eager to repay their crew for their exhaustive efforts with a podium result as the V8 Supercar Championship Series heads to Winton this weekend.
While Whincup's pace was encouraging at Pukekohe, it was clear that there was potential improvement to be found for both Falcons, and at last week's test session it was evident that the leading Ford team had raised the bar.
Both drivers made smooth progress through the session, and with a good base setup they were able to target specific areas in order to improve handling and extract pace.
The TeamVodafone pairing is the only driver combination to have made the final stage of the new elimination-style qualifying at each 2007 round, and is sure to maintain this consistency at Winton.
Winton is a deceptively difficult track to put together a quick, complete lap on, but the Team is confident of finding the form it did at the Victorian circuit last year, where it took the overall round win thanks to a brilliant performance by Craig Lowndes.
While the opening three rounds were certainly an unexpected test for 2005 and 2006 Championship Runner-Up Lowndes, he is confident that the gap to the frontrunners has been bridged significantly.
"Heading into the weekend it looks as though rain may pay a major part in the racing, and to be honest I won't really mind, I'm pretty confident on a wet track," said Lowndes.
"This is one of the most important rounds in terms of qualifying at the front, given that there are so few places to pass."
"The Team has a good handle on what's required to do well here, and I'm looking forward to getting underway after we won here last year."
"Last week's test proved very successful, and while the tyres we ran on weren't that great we still made some really good progress in terms of setup."
Lowndes is in 7th place, with 79 points to his name heading into round 4.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jamie Whincup has stepped forward and taken up the Ford charge at the front of the field, comfortably placed in 4th after three rounds of competition.
Whincup gave his team a glowing review following weeks of hard work at their Brisbane base and the subsequent test session, and said he was very happy with the way his car was performing.
"We had a very good and productive test last Friday where we tested a number of new components ahead of the race weekend at Winton, which will be a significant round in terms of the championship," said Whincup.
"The Team are just phenomenal - they are working really hard to make up the deficit and trying a whole range of new things," he said.
"To see them putting in the hard yards gives me great confidence and inspires me to work even harder on my own preparation."
"Both Craig and I were quick at Winton last year and I am confident we will have quick cars again this year, my focus is to keep the momentum that I've built up from the start of the season going."
The drivers will contest 3 x 32 lap races of the 3-kilometre circuit this weekend, with the opening race to be held on Saturday, and the following races to feature on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.
The racetrack, which is located around 10 minutes from the township of Benalla, is set to be a hive of activity as the event approaches, with a number of quality support classes, including the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series on show.