Hidden Valley: TeamVodafone preview

TeamVodafone aiming to take Territory by storm at Triple Crown TeamVodafone will head to Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway this weekend brimming with confidence after an encouraging outing at Eastern Creek which saw them showing speed on par with...

TeamVodafone aiming to take Territory by storm at Triple Crown

TeamVodafone will head to Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway this weekend brimming with confidence after an encouraging outing at Eastern Creek which saw them showing speed on par with the lead cars in the title race.

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup were dynamic on track and are reaping the benefits of the Team's four-round plan targeting handling and pace.

Track and ambient temperature will play a part in deciding this weekend's winner, and both drivers are confident that their intense training routines will keep them cool and level-headed across the round's three race sprint format.

For the third consecutive round, Lowndes heads into an event as the former V8 Supercar winner having stood atop the podium here in 2006.

It will be his tenth start at the 2.9km circuit, a fan favourite which draws massive crowds from the Darwin township and further afar.

It will also be a special occasion for Lowndes as he celebrates his 33rd birthday this Thursday, and he said a round win would be the perfect present.

"It would be great to have a double celebration this Sunday night, one for the round and one for my birthday!" said Lowndes.

"There's no doubt this will be a tough weekend in terms of the heat, but its something we'll all be battling and I'm pretty confident I've got the race fitness to handle it."

"My first Hidden Valley win was 2006, so I'll be looking to go back-to-back and notch up my first round win for 2007 here - there's always a fun atmosphere and the crowd is great."

Lowndes made a steady gain in the standings at the previous round, and is now sixth on 148 points.

Jamie Whincup's season campaign to date has been brilliant, and he heads into the Triple Crown weekend at Hidden Valley as the highest-placed Ford Falcon pilot in fourth overall thanks to seven individual race podium finishes.

He is again striving to finish well and factor in the top trio, and is confident that the hard work put in by the Triple Eight team has him well-positioned to achieve this goal.

"Everyone looks forward to the Darwin round, for its nice warm weather and the enthusiastic crowds, and I'm excited about getting underway and scoring some good results here," said Whincup.

"I'm happy to have such a short turnaround between races, it allows you to maintain a race focus and I've been working very hard in training since we got back from Eastern Creek."

"With the increased car pace we are showing I'm quietly confident that we can erase the disappointment of last round and have a really good showing here."

"Since the heat of Adelaide at the start of the year the team has come up with a few good technqiues which should keep things nice and cool in the cabin."

The regular 50 lap-limited practice sessions will prove a valuable shakedown for the cars on Friday, followed by the 3-stage elimination qualifying session on Saturday morning.

All three races will be 42 laps, with race 1 to be held on Saturday and races 2 and 3 on Sunday.

-credit: tv

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup