TeamVodafone out to turn the tables on Hamilton misfortuneFor Immediate Release: 14 April 2009Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are preparing for another street race showdown at the Hamilton 400 this weekend. The TeamVodafone duo are striving for ...
TeamVodafone out to turn the tables on Hamilton misfortuneFor Immediate Release: 14 April 2009Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are preparing for another street race showdown at the Hamilton 400 this weekend. The TeamVodafone duo are striving for strong results following respective dominant victories at the season-opening Clipsal 500 and AGP support events. Twelve months ago, the championship-winning TeamVodafone outfit was left to rue a largely luckless weekend in Hamilton, with Whincup's car damaged beyond repair in qualifying and Lowndes hampered by a number of mid-pack stoushes. Winning momentum has both drivers and crew positive of erasing memories of 2008 and replacing them with jubilant celebration. For Whincup, Hamilton holds a special significance. A zero points round last season ignited an even greater desire to succeed against the odds, one which saw him claim his first championship title. He enters the Hamilton 400 as the championship points leader after amassing a perfect 300-point haul in Adelaide. "My main aim for this weekend is to make the race. If we can get to Race 1 then we have already achieved more than last year," Whincup said.
"I love the track, the few laps I did in 2008 were very enjoyable and it would be nice to get some reward for the hard work we put in last year.
"It is important not to get too ahead of ourselves as this is only our third race meeting with the new cars. We are extremely happy with them and personally I want to prove that Clipsal was no fluke," Whincup added. Teammate Lowndes showed scorching form at the AGP Support event, leaving the field in his dust on the way to winning two from three sprint races. Placed sixth on the championship ladder, Lowndes said he was looking forward to carrying over the form from Melbourne. "I didn't get the best result here last year but I think we are a lot better prepared in all areas this year, " Lowndes said.
"We are coming off a confidence building AGP and have come away from both the Clipsal 500 and AGP with good straight cars.
"The knowledge we gained from Clipsal on the new car will definitely give us an insight into how we need to set the car up for the Hamilton track as both tracks have similar characteristics . Changes to category rules will see strategy play a large part in the Hamilton 400 this year. As well as the compulsory fuel stop and new ethanol fuel blend, drivers will contest yet another new qualifying format. In addition to Saturday's qualifying sessions, the field will also hit the track early on Sunday morning to fight it out in a frenetic 20-minute session to determine the grid for the second 200km race.