V8 Supercars press release
Sunday Phillip Island L&H 500 Quotebook
Craig Lowndes (#888 TeamVodafone Commodore VE II – 1st)
“It’s been a pretty smooth weekend for us as a team, everything we have done has worked. It’s been a big effort from the team all year, not just this weekend.
“When Shane was closing that gap I radioed in and said I didn’t want to go any faster and burn the tyres and have nothing left to fight if he got to us.
“He got to about three seconds away but must have had a problem and went backwards as fast as he came up to me. It was a blessing for me, we were pushing as hard as we could.”
Mark Skaife (#888 TeamVodafone Commodore VE II – 1st)
“Today was extraordinary, Craig is driving as good as I have ever seen him drive. For the team to have a 1-2, it’s so competitive to have that at any stage is an unbelievable achievement.
“I felt good today, I’ve definitely pulled up better than I did this time last year. This is the sort of hit out that I need before Bathurst. I’ll be better again at Bathurst just because of that.”
Jamie Whincup (#88 TeamVodafone Commodore VE II – 2nd)
“Overall, we’re happy with our day. A 1-2 in any race is a great result and do to it at such a big event as Phillip Island is even more special.
“Our race was pretty much over from the start when Skaifey strategically whacked my door handle and it wouldn’t open. Revenge sucks!”
Andrew Thompson (#88 TeamVodafone Commodore VE II – 2nd)
“We got a bit of a talking to before we started the race and Adrian (Burgess, Team Principal) was looking at me the whole time! It was just one of those things, Skaifey got a bit of a nudge from behind at the hairpin and it was just the worst point in the door to hit and he got it.
“We lost a bit of time in that pit stop trying to get the door open. I had my feet and arms going everywhere trying to get that to open. The Safety Car really hurt us because we lost out track position and that got us behind.”
Will Davison (#6 Trading Post Falcon FG – 3rd)
“You never say never and you never give up. I just kept trucking on. I knew my only strength was at the end of stints. We didn’t really have the outright speed or balance in those first stages of the stints so I concentrated on keeping cool and driving the car straight and seeing if some guys came back to me later in the stints.
“Hunting Garth down was my focus and I had a bit of motivation to catch that car.”
Luke Youlden (#6 Trading Post FPR Falcon – 3rd)
“I didn’t think we would be on the podium five laps from home so it is nice to get this result. I had a great start, led comfortably and didn’t let the pressure get to me, which hopefully proved Will and I are a strong combination.
“The car was quick early but then I struggled and the lack of a radio didn’t help though it wasn’t too bad as I had the team using an old-style pit board which worked surprisingly well. It is great to score a podium for the second year in a row here.”
Shane van Gisbergen (#9 SP Tools Falcon FG – 5th)
“To be honest the day didn’t look all that promising during John’s first stint because he was complaining that there was a ‘miss’ and the car seemed a bit off – but once I got in I just pushed it really hard - and while there did seem like there was something not quite right, we had great speed and was able to reel in the blokes in front.
“During the last stint the Triple Eight guys obviously had some better tyres and were able to pull away – I pushed pretty hard and was able to hang in there but then in the last few laps my tyres had pretty much had it and I was lucky really, to finish where we did.
“Overall I’m pretty happy with the way things went this weekend and the race today – fifth is my best ‘key-event’ endurance performance so that’s something I’ll remember.”
John McIntyre (#9 SP Tools Falcon FG – 5th)
“Today was a great day – everything pretty much worked to plan for car #9. My job was to keep us in contention and give Shane back a car in the best position I could – which we achieved. The car was really strong and I was able to drive it to the times the guys wanted. It was a shame missing out on a podium but Shane was able to keep the car on the road at the end there where most other drivers would have tipped it off – I was really proud of the way he drove today.”
Tim Blanchard (#16 Stratco Commodore VE II – 6th)
“I was glad to get a good start and stay out of trouble. I then found I could run with the lead group and turn some good lap times.
“We had a good strategy to see where I was after lap 10, so after the first stop I pushed like crazy on the second set of tyres and got a good clean gap which I could hold.
“The car was really nice to drive and I was pleased to be able to hand the car over to Dave from fifth position.
“A great result, I am really wrapped to get a top 10 finish in such big event.”
Andrew Jones (#8 Team BOC Commodore VE II – 7th)
“That was an incident that should have been looked at post race. It certainly wasn’t clear and, obviously, I’m massively disappointed with Steve Richards and with the people that adjudicated on the incident.
“My understanding is that you can cover your line and I don’t have an issue with that but we were on lap 30 of a 113-lap race and he covered straight out of the pit lane. I can work with that, but then he diverted again. The rule is that you’re allowed to make one move to cover your line, which means you can’t move right to cover and then go left so you’ve got the ideal line for the corner. I was tapped-out on the brakes. I couldn’t slow any quicker. It was never going to work.”
Jason Bright (#8 Team BOC Commodore VE II – 7th)
“Coming from down the back there, the plan was for AJ to work up to mid-field and then hope for a Safety Car mid-race. After that we would have been able to race our way through. If it hadn’t been for getting the penalty, which meant we had to make our way through a lot more people, we were on for a podium at worst.”
Rick Kelly (#15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore VE II – 8th)
“I think that result is pretty much where our car pace was at this weekend.
“It was quite an uneventful race with Safety Cars and the like. They called one for some birds on the track there, which bunched us up a bit, but it was hard for us to take advantage of those extraordinary circumstances like that Safety Car and oil on the track.
“When it is just outright racing with only one Safety Car you can't beat people who are faster than you and today was a little bit like that.
“I think we did pretty well to finish in eighth today. We switched up our tyres a little bit and ran our best set earlier in the race. It gave us an advantage in an earlier stint but we lost out in the end there.
“All in all we did OK. Sixth would have been a good result for us but we lost two spots in the final stint and eighth is not too bad.”
Owen Kelly (#15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore VE II – 8th)
“We've been struggling all weekend and never really hit on it.
“We changed things overnight again and we changed more again after the warm-up today.
“We did the best with what we had. We didn’t really roll the #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore out of the truck where we wanted to be so we were chasing all weekend.
“It wasn't quite there for us but at least we made the best of a bad day and got Rick some good championship points.”
Cameron McConville (#1 Toll HRT Commodore VE II – 9th)
“I’m a little bit disappointed not to finish in the top five or six today. Our pace was around about P5 to P10 all weekend and that’s where we ended up. There’s a little bit of searching to do to find those last few tenths to get us right up with the leaders.
“I enjoyed today. I kept the tyres on the car as well as I could and I was happy with my speed but as a car we need to find a little more speed to be a contender for Bathurst.”
Fabian Coulthard (#61 Bundaberg Commodore VE II – 10th)
Tweet: “P10 was a good result, worked hard on the car making it better over the weekend.”
Todd Kelly (#7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore VE II – 14th)
“It was a bloody hard day out there today.
“The fact was that we just didn't have a fast enough car and instead of attacking we were covering and in defence-mode the whole race.
“It was just way too hard on its tyres. It really cooked the rear tyres especially during the race and then it makes you weak everywhere, cornering and especially under braking.
“We just had no pace towards the end there and got cleaned up by the guys who pitted later and had fresher tyres, so there absolutely is nothing you can do about that.
“There was some pretty average driving out there. Bargs ran me off in one of the fastest corners on the track coming onto the front straight. That could have been a lot worse so it's good to come back with a straight #7 Jack Daniel's Commodores after dealing with those kinds of blokes.”
David Russell (#7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore VE II – 14th)
“We had high hopes for this weekend.
“Todd and I were really looking at a top five - that was our goal.
“But it was a solid result and personally I've learned a lot about the car today. The team did a great job and it was a fantastic weekend from that point of view
“They work so hard. We had a bit of a drama with the wheel guns at a pit stop but they got in and fixed it really quickly so we didn't lose too much time at all.
“Todd had a great stint in the last half of the race. Towards the end of the final stint the tyres were going away and he was just hanging on. He did a good job to keep it in a solid position in the top 15.”
Mark Winterbottom (#5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon FG – 17th)
“The car was really good in my first stint, it was strong and I was catching the cars in front so things were looking good but then the safety car came out and we could only fit two tyres as we needed to save the last four tyres for the final pit stop.
“Unfortunately that hurt the set-up of the car and we really struggled, particularly under brakes. That meant we were less racy so we were vulnerable from those drivers who took four tyres. However, I then had contact with one of the DJR cars and that bent the steering so it made it tough to get to the end.”
Steve Richards (#5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon – 17th)
“It was an up and down day for the team but it was great we (FPR) came away with a podium. I made a strong start and started picking off the guys ahead of me in the opening part of the race. After my first stop I was punted off the track at the hairpin and that cost us a lot of places.
“I fought back again as the car was still strong though Frosty didn’t enjoy the best of luck in the afternoon and he did well to bring the car home considering the steering situation.”
Alex Davison (#4 IRWIN Falcon FG – 22nd)
“I made a great start –I think collecting about nine places on the opening lap – but then I was getting bashed around by (Jason) Bargwanna, who once he got past tipped someone around who I had to go off-track to avoid – so that cost me a lot of places.
“The Safety Car came out at the right time because we actually had a damaged wheel and would have had to pit anyway – so that did roll our way. In general we really struggled with car-balance this weekend but during the race the car was the best it’s been all weekend so we’ll have a look at the data during this period and see what transpires out of it at our next test.”
David Brabham (#4 IRWIN Falcon FG – 22nd)
“My first stint was rather frustrating – I just couldn’t find any grip. The second stint on new rubber was much better – a dramatic difference in the way the car handled but it didn’t seem to last. The fact that I ‘flat spotted’ a tyre didn’t really help things and from there it was pretty much a downward spiral. We’ll regroup though and bounce-back at Bathurst.”
Paul Dumbrell (#55 Bottle-O Falcon FG – 23rd)
“We came here hoping to fight at the front of the field and while Dean had a great start and was up front early, the rest of our day turned sour and we didn’t get the rub of the green when it mattered.
“With Dean’s penalty which was unfortunate, me getting turned around and not getting the most out of our tyres we didn’t reach our potential today. Congratulations to Will and Luke on their podium and I’m sure we’ll be better at Bathurst.”
Dean Canto (#55 Bottle-O Falcon FG – 23rd)
“Today was tough. The start was good though initially I thought we had an issue on the first lap as the car was unsettled and while it improved it just wasn’t right. I struggled to get the car away at my pit stop and then when I got it going I was judged to have spent too much time in the slow lane so I had to serve a drive-through penalty. Paul battled hard, got turned around and recovered as best as he could. Now we look forward to Bathurst.”
Tim Slade (#47 Lucky 7 Falcon FG – 24th)
“Extremely tough weekend. We showed glimpses of our Queensland Raceway form but we just couldn’t get the car to where we wanted it to be. From qualifying we were pretty much on the back foot.
“During the race we chewed through our tyres and eventually went backwards at a rate of knots. We’ll look closely at things we gleaned from this weekend prior to Bathurst and set it straight again so we can get back up to where we should be.”
Daniel Gaunt (#47 Lucky 7 Falcon FG – 24th)
“The first stint was OK but I got turned by someone at turn 10 and lost a lot of ground and from there it was an uphill battle. We just need to get everyone together and regroup, refocus and not get too lost in this weekend so we can hit Bathurst with a fresh, positive outlook and more competitive package.”
Steven Johnson (#17 Jim Beam Falcon FG – 26th)
Tweet: “2day was a hard kick in the crutch after being strong all year. Sorry 2 the DJR fans. We’ll use the disappointment 4 motivation @ Bathurst.”
Warren Luff (#30 Gulf Western Oil Commodore VE II – 27th)
“We showed yesterday that the car has the pace to run in the top 10.
“Today was puzzling because we were feeling pretty confident after yesterday’s races and didn’t make any dramatic changes to the car.
“We just didn’t have the pace today and that’s something we’ll have to address before we get to Bathurst.”
Nathan Pretty (#30 Gulf Western Oil Commodore VE II – 27th)
“Yesterday we left the track feeling pretty good about ourselves but today we turned up and it was like somebody had swapped chassis on us.
“The good thing to come out of the weekend is that we know that the speed is in the car, we just have to get stuck in so we’re competitive when we get to Bathurst.”