Team Vodafone driver and reigning V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup commenced this season where he finished last year with back-to-back wins around the streets of Adelaide this weekend. Whincup didn't have it all his own way after grabbing pole...
Team Vodafone driver and reigning V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup commenced this season where he finished last year with back-to-back wins around the streets of Adelaide this weekend.
Whincup didn't have it all his own way after grabbing pole position he dropped back to 4th place in race one on Saturday and then had to fend off team mate Craig Lowndes and rival Holden pilot Garth Tander who both suffered mechanical problems with a handful of laps left. This allowed Holden's Lee Holdsworth and new Holden Racing Team recruit Will Davison to grab valuable points and finish on the podium.
Davison moved to the Melbourne based team this year to fill the seat vacated by Mark Skaife who retired last year and his performance in both races earned him the praise from various quarters, who believed that it would take time for the former Ford driver to settle into his new environment. Better still, he out shone number one driver Garth Tander who had to settle for 3rd on Sunday behind Davison.
Davison was not only thrilled about his performance, he regarded it as a "dream debut" and thanked his team who did not expect the results, believing 2009 would be a development year for their new charger.
Once again the concrete walls of Adelaide claimed several victims throughout the weekend. Ford drivers Craig Lowndes and James Courtney damaged their cars on Saturday, with the Jim Beam team working tirelessly to get the Courtney car back on track for Sunday. Jack Perkins smacked the barrier at Turn 8 on the opening lap of Sunday's race and his crew will struggle to get the car back to Melbourne and repaired for the non championship round on the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix calendar.
If the concrete didn't get you then the heat did, forcing a number of drivers to seek medical attention after temperatures reached beyond 70 degrees Celsius in the cabins of their machines. Ice foot baths were be prepared during the closing laps, as several drivers suggested that they had the soles of their feet 'burnt and blistered'. The Enforcer - Russell Ingall may make a name for himself in the fashion stakes after designing sole protection for his feet made from Styrofoam cups.
Although he grabbed pole position, Whincup was apprehensive of his start to the season, now that he was carrying the number one on his Ford. That apprehension cost him positions in the two 78 lap races, but after some determined racing and pit crew strategies he was able to take the chequered flags and start the season on top.