Triple Eight avoiding 'job done' mentality

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Triple Eight avoiding 'job done' mentality
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Jul 11, 2018, 4:30 AM

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton says his squad's breakthrough weekend in Townsville is no excuse for complacency heading into the remainder of the Supercars season.

Podium: second place Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden, winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Race winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Race winner Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Triple Eight enjoyed a near-perfect weekend in Far North Queensland, with a pair of one-twos for its Red Bull-backed cars – a win apiece for Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen – and a pair of fourth places for Craig Lowndes in the third T8 Holden.

The Townsville races broke an eight-race winless streak for the factory Holden outfit, and were done in devastating style, Whincup and van Gisbergen clearly the class of the field.

However while it could be perceived as a turning point for the ZB Commodore, Dutton says he's determined not to let any complacency creep into the T8 mentality ahead of the next round at Queensland Raceway.

With van Gisbergen still needing 131 points to run down Penske's Scott McLaughlin, and Whincup even further back with a 403-point deficit to the series leader, Dutton reckons it'll be all about hard work heading to Ipswich.

"We were stronger [in Townsville], that gives you confidence for QR," he said, "but by no means do you think 'job done, we're on the right path, we're home and hosed'. It's not that at all.

"QR will be a tough challenge, the rest of the field has had a lot of success here and obviously [DJR Team Penske] tests there as well.

"We've got a good track record [in Townsville], so we're not getting ahead of ourselves."

Dutton also agreed that Queensland Raceway being the test track for both Triple Eight and DJRTP will add an extra dimension to the next round.

"It's a tough one. I've always said your test track is actually a bit out of your normal sequence," he said. "People quite often stay at home instead of at hotels; you get out of your routine a bit.

"That said, they've had cracking speed there, they've got lots of experience there, we've got lots of experience there... but they've been in the sweet spot consistently for a lot longer than we have, so... we've got confidence out of what we achieved [in Townsville] for our team, but yeah, by no means are we going to be complacent. That's an evil word."

Triple Eight overturned its recent qualifying woes in Townsville, including a front-row lockout for Sunday's race.

That momentum will be important moving forward, Dutton convinced that form plays a crucial role in getting the best out of the cars over a lap.

"Momentum is massive. In qualifying momentum is the big one," he said.

"We've still maintained good race pace, but when you're coming back through the field you can only achieve podiums and maybe the odd win, instead of qualifying well and leading from the front.

"Momentum, for me, is why we had a better qualifying on Sunday than Saturday. In qualifying, when you know what's underneath you, you can get that last hundredth of a second. That makes the difference in qualifying a lot more than a race.

"The fact that we had great cars for all three drivers [on Saturday] in qualifying, [on Sunday] they just built on that. We didn't change anything massive. Yeah we refined it again for [Sunday], but it was more the drivers knowing what was underneath them, building that momentum, and it showed in the Top 10 Shootout.

"We're learning things, but definitely the momentum is starting to pay off."

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