Hamilton: TeamVodafone preview

TeamVodafone prepared for anything at Hamilton 400 TeamVodafone is gearing up for Event 5 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the ITM Hamilton 400 in New Zealand this weekend. V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup is the defending Mark Porter...

TeamVodafone prepared for anything at Hamilton 400

TeamVodafone is gearing up for Event 5 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the ITM Hamilton 400 in New Zealand this weekend. V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup is the defending Mark Porter Trophy winner but the team has a hit and miss record at the North Island track, with contrasting results for both Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes over the past two years.

In 2008 Whincup didn't make the first race after a horrific crash in qualifying sidelined him for the event then in 2009 he bounced back to set the qualifying and race lap records and take both race wins.

Whincup describes how this event has been somewhat of a testing emotional roller-coaster for him.

"Hamilton has been very up and down for me in the past, from writing a car off in qualifying in 08 and not making the races, to winning both races last year. I couldn't have had more mixed results in New Zealand," he said. "I have the utmost confidence in our preparation heading in to the weekend, especially as far as pace goes.

"I'm looking forward to trying to settle the ship after a tumultuous couple of months in Adelaide and at the Grand Prix where we didn't reach our full potential.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and channelling my performance from last year.

"I'd say my favourite thing about racing in Hamilton though would have to be the industrial area out the back of the track," Whincup quipped. Craig Lowndes hopes to return to form this year after a less than perfect campaign in 2009.

"Hamilton is a lot more technical than people think. As it's a street circuit it is quite bumpy and there are multiple changes of bitumen which makes getting the car balance right quite a challenge.

"The Grand Prix was a great event in terms of understanding how the car works with kerbs. Combined with what we learnt at Clipsal we have definitely got a better insight into how to set the car up for Hamilton.

"It's a great event in terms of atmosphere, there are lots of good vantage points around the circuit and the crowd gets right into it," he said.

The V8 Supercars will take to the track for practice on Friday 16 April with qualifying for Race 7 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series and the first leg of the ITM Hamilton 400 (59-laps) to be held on Saturday 17 April. The event concludes on Sunday with the final 200km race.

-source: teamvodafone

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Mark Porter