Winton: TeamVodafone Saturday report

Whincup wins wet Winton opener An ambitious pit strategy by TeamVodafone in the opening V8 Supercar race at Winton Motor Raceway today has propelled Jamie Whincup from a less than ideal qualifying position of 20th to...

Whincup wins wet Winton opener

An ambitious pit strategy by TeamVodafone in the opening V8 Supercar race at Winton Motor Raceway today has propelled Jamie Whincup from a less than ideal qualifying position of 20th to win the 40-Lap duel convincingly.

After showing good pace in the rain yesterday things looked up for Whincup when the rain began to fall ten minutes before the start of the race.

Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes who started from 12th on the grid both managed to avoid the Lap-1 mayhem and made good progress through the field as the race went on.

With the track looking as though it would remain wet, TeamVodafone opted to pit both drivers early, while most teams stayed out, optimistic of a drying circuit.

As the race progressed and teams began to pit both TeamVodafone Falcons were soon at the front of the field with Whincup taking the lead on Lap 27 and Lowndes in third.

A safety car on Lap 34 reduced Whincup's impressive ten second lead but once racing resumed he was never challenged, winning the race over two seconds ahead of fellow Ford driver Steven Richards and Rick Kelly.

"We struggled through qualifying," said Whincup "But as with yesterday the car was really good on wets.

"The Team made the right call on pit strategy and from there I made the best with what I had."

"This track is traditionally our bogey track so it is really good to come away with a win" Whincup commented.

Craig Lowndes day turned sour after he was involved in an on track melee with James Courtney while battling for third position with Garth Tander.

While Lowndes moved to the inside to avoid Coutney who was on slick tyres, there was contact and Lowndes spun, relegating him to 18th.

"It was very disappointing to spin off with off three laps to go especially as I moved to the inside to try and avoid him (Courtney)," said Lowndes.

"I was enjoying a good battle with Garth as the car was getting better the more the track dried out."

"We will have our work cut out for us now we are starting from 18th tomorrow," Lowndes added.

The final two 40-Lap V8 Supercar races will be contested at 10.55am and 1.40pm.

-credit: tv

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Steven Richards