Highs and lows for TeamVodafone at Winton Motor Raceway It was a bittersweet day for TeamVodafone at Victoria's Winton Motor Raceway today with the championship winning team celebrating a podium and lamenting the loss of Jamie Whincup's lead ...
Highs and lows for TeamVodafone at Winton Motor Raceway
It was a bittersweet day for TeamVodafone at Victoria's Winton Motor Raceway today with the championship winning team celebrating a podium and lamenting the loss of Jamie Whincup's lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, which they had held since the opening race of the season.
Craig Lowndes, who qualified third for today's 200km race finished second after an epic battle with race winner James Courtney over the closing laps of the race. Team-mate and defending champion, Jamie Whincup endured a day he would rather forget, finishing 24th after a mid race tussle left him stranded in the gravel trap at Turn 4. Lowndes took 138 points from today's race, which has strengthened his third place in the championship standings and put him right back in the hunt for the title. "I am delighted because consistency wasn't on my side at the start of the season," Lowndes acknowledged.
"I have had my ups and downs, but it is great to be back on the podium and back in the championship hunt.
"While we still don't quite have the pace of James Courtney we made a lot of inroads with our car balance and pace this weekend," Lowndes said.
After securing a front row start for today's race Jamie Whincup leapt to the lead and controlled the opening 26 laps of the race. A mid-race jostle for position left the V8 Supercar Champion beached in the gravel trap at Turn 4 and he was forced to pit for new tyres. "It was certainly not the day we were after," Whincup said. "Ultimately we struggled for pace. "We tried to change our strategy to give us a late race advantage but the safety car came out at the wrong time and then I got a small touch which sent me off track and way down the order.
"We came here to win the race and be competitive and at the end of the day we were not fast enough. I now have five weeks to work out what went wrong before Darwin," he stated. The next event on the V8 Supercar calendar is the Sky City Triple Crown which will be held at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway on June 18 - 20.