What was supposed to be a conservative outing for V8 Supercar Championship leader Jamie Whincup at the Falken Tasmania Challenge, ended up being one of the most action packed of his 2008 campaign. Inclement weather, lapped traffic, hard racing...
What was supposed to be a conservative outing for V8 Supercar Championship leader Jamie Whincup at the Falken Tasmania Challenge, ended up being one of the most action packed of his 2008 campaign.
Inclement weather, lapped traffic, hard racing and treacherous track conditions all failed to hinder the TeamVodafone driver as he went on to finish second in today's opening 50-lap race.
Whincup who qualified second, blitzed Garth Tander off the start and led the race for the opening lap. With slippery track conditions creating an unknown arena, Whincup backed off to sit comfortably in fourth until the compulsory pitstops.
TeamVodafone once again played the perfect hand in terms of pit strategy, opting to bring Whincup in behind championship rival Mark Winterbottom to switch to wets. As the race progressed most of the field switched to wets and those left on slicks slipped back through the order.
Acknowledging it was a hectic race Whincup said he was delighted to be starting up the front again tomorrow.
"I wasn't really conservative at all in the end," Whincup said. "I am starting to think I don't know the meaning of the word.
"There was some really hard racing out there and in the heat of the battle, you just have to have a crack and go for it.
"I did try to place myself in a safe position on track but no matter what I did I found myself in the thick of it," he explained.
Teammate Craig Lowndes also endured a tough day with a change made to the car during qualifying proving to be the wrong way to go. Despite topping the second qualifying leg he was ninth at the conclusion of the third sector.
In starting off the fifth row of the grid Lowndes was unable to avoid some of the first lap mayhem and was also hampered by a problem to his dashboard display. The three-time champion then overcame a lengthy compulsory pitstop to eventually finish sixth.
"Qualifying where we did, we were always going to get caught up in trouble," Lowndes said "The start was hectic and the track conditions made it tough to try and pre-empt the action in front.
"I had a great car in the wet but as the track started to dry out towards the end of the race it did start to lose balance.
"This was the first time we have had to come in back-to-back during a pitstop and we did lose a couple of spots but I can't complain I am still starting from a much better grid spot tomorrow," he added.
The final two 50-lap V8 Supercar races will be contested at 11.45pm (AEDST) and 3.30pm (AEDST) tomorrow.