Triumph and tragedy for TeamVodafone in the opening leg of the Clipsal 500For Immediate Release: 21 March 200 TeamVodafone has had a day of mixed results with reigning V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup winning the first race of the season while...
Triumph and tragedy for TeamVodafone in the opening leg of the Clipsal 500For Immediate Release: 21 March 200 TeamVodafone has had a day of mixed results with reigning V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup winning the first race of the season while teammate Craig Lowndes suffered a rare component failure only four laps from the end of the 250km race, depriving the team of a one-two finish.
Whilst Whincup did not get the best of starts he took control of the race on Lap 20 overtaking teammate Lowndes. The duo were then never headed until tragedy struck Lowndes with the finish line in sight, when the power steering rack in his TeamVodafone V8 Supercar failed.
Whincup went on to take line honours for the third consecutive year by an astonishing 14 seconds ahead of minor place getters Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison.
"After my taxi driver start it was an amazing day for TeamVodafone. Everyone worked so hard during the off season so it was great to come out and get a result," Whincup explained.
"To be honest it was an emotional day for me. We debuted a new car, there was a certain amount of expectation and pressure on me to back up after last year. I felt a great sense of relief when I crossed the chequered flag.
"The car is a real credit to the team, it was fantastic and just got better and better as the race went on," Whincup added.
Luckily for Lowndes he won't be starting mid fleet with the new qualifying rules ensuring that he will again line up on the front row of the grid.
"It was very disappointing we were four laps away from a one-two finish," Lowndes said. "Our strategy was good and the car was lapping consistently right up until the power steering rack broke.
"The team did a great job in repairing it to the point where I could go back out and be classed a finisher.
"On the good news front we have another chance tomorrow and thanks to the new rules I will be starting off the front row of the grid," Lowndes said.
The final race of the Clipsal 500 will get underway at 2.35pm tomorrow. Top Ten Race 1 Results