Winton: TeamVodafone preview

Whincup looking for a good run on soft tyres at Winton. With his brand new TeamVodafone Commodore V8 Supercar scheduled to make its debut in Darwin, championship leader Jamie Whincup is looking to end his stint in the car he dubbed "Kate" with a...

Whincup looking for a good run on soft tyres at Winton.

With his brand new TeamVodafone Commodore V8 Supercar scheduled to make its debut in Darwin, championship leader Jamie Whincup is looking to end his stint in the car he dubbed "Kate" with a good result at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend. The defending champion endured a tough Queensland Raceway event where he had his championship lead reduced to just 24 points after retiring from Sunday's race with a rare mechanical failure. Acknowledging that the regional Victorian circuit has been a happy hunting ground for TeamVodafone in the past, Whincup said he was looking forward to a much better run on soft tyres this weekend.

"I feel we have really improved the car on soft tyres and I look forward to proving that this weekend," Whincup stated.

"With the freezing conditions expected, the biggest challenge will be getting the tyre temperatures up especially for qualifying. "I have a new car coming for Darwin so this could be the last time I drive "Kate" who has been very nice to me so far," he added.

Teammate Craig Lowndes, who won both races and recorded his best result of 2009 at Winton last year, said he and engineer Jeromy Moore had gained a lot from the Queensland Raceway event and now had a much better understanding of what setup changes best suit the soft tyres.

"We are back on the soft tyre again we really found what worked and what didn't at Queensland Raceway. If we can get the car balance the the same I am confident that we will not only have good pace but also consistency to go with it," Lowndes explained.

"The sprint tyres will definitely last longer at Winton, we proved that last year by running the same set in both races.

"Winton is a circuit that is hard to pass on so qualifying is extremely important and strategy will paramount. The key is knowing when to push on these soft's and when to look after them," Lowndes said.

TeamVodafone's endurance co-drivers Mark Skaife and Steve will gain some more seat time in Friday's opening two practice sessions. The Winton Motor Raceway event will get underway on Friday May 14 with the first of four practice sessions to start at 10.55am. Qualifying and Race 11 (100km) of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be held on Saturday. The event concludes on Sunday with the final 200km race.

-source: teamvodafone

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup