Lowndes and Whincup return to site of Triple Eight's first V8 Supercar win Two years ago, Triple Eight Race Engineering stormed into the prestigious winner's circle in Australian V8 Supercar competition, recording its first ever round victory...
Lowndes and Whincup return to site of Triple Eight's first V8 Supercar win
Two years ago, Triple Eight Race Engineering stormed into the prestigious winner's circle in Australian V8 Supercar competition, recording its first ever round victory at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway.
As Craig Lowndes crossed the line, an elated crew celebrated the hard-earned victory, one which would ignite immense success in the months and years to come, a fond and fitting memory as the Team gears up to return to the renowned circuit.
With Jamie Whincup recording TeamVodafone's breakthrough 2007 victory at Winton just a few weeks ago, the leading Ford outfit is eager to maintain the momentum and return to the top step of the podium once again this weekend.
The series takes a different approach to this weekend's racing, with the Queen's Birthday shuffling proceedings back a day to co-incide with the public holiday. There will be no time to relax for Lowndes and Whincup however, charged with the task of making up further ground in both the Driver's and Team's championships.
Whincup's win was a significant step forward in TeamVodafone's progress, and a sure sign of things to come.
He is looking forward to another competitive weekend, and is confident that the car is capable of taking the fight to Holden's pacesetters once again.
"Eastern Creek is a special place for Triple Eight, it's where Craig won the first round for the team in 2005 so they have a good handle on the track," said Whincup.
"I really enjoy the challenges it offers a driver -- being on the rev limiter in top gear in the run into Turn 1 really gets your attention."
"Personally, another consistent result to keep the momentum rolling is my focus. We are coming off our first round win of the year and are going through an exciting time, but it's important for us to keep our cool and stay focused on the big picture."
After four rounds of completed competition, Whincup is comfortably positioned in third, on 168 points.
With luck deserting Craig Lowndes on a number of occasions to this point in the season, the multiple series Champion is fired up to recapture his famous winning form.
In spite of this lean start by his own standards, Lowndes is still holding down 7th in the championship, with 104 points to his name.
Eastern Creek will spark elements of nostalgia for Lowndes, who is V8 Supercars' most recent victor here following his 2005 win.
With considerable experience under his belt at the fast 3.93km circuit, he will be a podium threat from the outset of the weekend.
"It is always nice to go back to a circuit where you have had a breakthrough victory, I love the track - it has great character and at our last outing at Eastern Creek we had a fantastic result," said Lowndes.
"It will be a unique experience to race on Sunday and Monday instead of Saturday and Sunday, and we will be aiming to back up Jamie's result from Winton with another strong podium finish."
In team points terms, the Brisbane-based outfit is comfortably holding down second in the standings, with 272 points to its credit.
While the days differ, the format for Round 4 remains the same, with three 31-lap races to be contested; the opening race will be held on Sunday with the remaining two races to be held for the first time on Monday.
Eastern Creek's profile is perfect for V8 Supercar competition, with the fast sweeping turn one giving way to a series of rises and falls through its 12-corner layout.
TeamVodafone fans can catch up with Craig and Jamie prior to the event, with the duo making their only pre-round appearance this Thursday evening at the Vodafone Store at Westfield Parramatta.