Pukekohe: TeamVodafone Saturday report

Bittersweet day for TeamVodafone While TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup is celebrating a top five finish in today's opening 43 Lap race at Pukekohe Park Raceway, his teammate Craig Lowndes has been left wondering if a...

Bittersweet day for TeamVodafone

While TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup is celebrating a top five finish in today's opening 43 Lap race at Pukekohe Park Raceway, his teammate Craig Lowndes has been left wondering if a black cat has somehow crossed his path.

The multiple Champion who looked promising yesterday qualified eighth and after making up ground through a swift pitstop by the TeamVodafone crew, speared off at the notorious hairpin and was relegated to 15th with 15 laps to go.

Jamie Whincup who started off grid position five maintained his position throughout the race. The TeamVodafone driver capitalized on a battle between fellow Ford driver Steven Richards and reigning Champion Rick Kelly, moving into fourth place on Lap 37.

After setting himself the goal of finishing inside the top six Whincup said he was delighted with his result.

"Today's race went better than we had planned," said Whincup. "We had originally set ourselves a goal of finishing in the top six so to come away with fourth is fantastic."

"We had good overall car speed especially towards the end of the race which allowed me to pass Steven Richards with eight laps to go."

"Tonight we will work on finding a bit more front grip to give me some assistance in exiting the hairpin."

"We have a good starting position for tomorrow and if I can maintain top five finishes in both races I have a good chance of making up some championship places," he continued.

For Lowndes the day turned sour on Lap 28, the TeamVodafone driver commenting that while he thought he braked normally coming into the hairpin the pedal stayed down longer than anticipated locking his front brakes.

"We struggled early in the race with rear grip," said Lowndes. "I altered the rear bar but went the wrong way and it didn't give me what I was looking for."

"The boys did a fantastic pitstop and we gained two positions but unfortunately we couldn't capitalise on these gains as I went off at the hairpin and back to 15th. From there I was only able to gain one position."

"The car definitely felt better towards the end of the race through a combination of bar and brake adjustments but we will need to improve it a bit more for tomorrow's two races," Lowndes commented.

Today's race was won by Holden driver Garth Tander from Mark Winterbottom and Rick Kelly.

Tomorrow the V8 Supercars will contest two 43 lap races with Race 2 commencing at 11.30am (local time) and Race 3 at 2.55pm (local time).

-credit: tv

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Rick Kelly , Jamie Whincup , Steven Richards