Whincup predicts sprint tyre will throw up mixed results.For Immediate Release: 1st May 2009Reigning V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup has acknowledged the new Dunlop 'Sprint' tyre will generate some interesting racing after testing the tyre for...
Whincup predicts sprint tyre will throw up mixed results.For Immediate Release: 1st May 2009Reigning V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup has acknowledged the new Dunlop 'Sprint' tyre will generate some interesting racing after testing the tyre for the first time in today's practice sessions at Victoria's Winton Motor Raceway.
While most teams elected to use their 'Sprint' set of tyres in the third sector of practice, both Whincup and TeamVodafone teammate Craig Lowndes used theirs during the second sector.
Whincup's best time was only two one-hundredths of a second off the fastest time set by Garth Tander in the third practice sector while Lowndes, who was the first driver to take to the track on the softer compound tyre, recorded the tenth fastest time.
"I was really happy with today's practice sessions, Whincup said. "Driving wise it is a big shock coming from a fast street circuit to a tight, twisting permanent circuit."
"The track was relatively slippery today and it felt like the car was sliding all over the place, so I was quite surprised to be in the top five."
"After running the softer compound tyres it has confirmed to me just how crazy tomorrow's race is going to be. I will definitely be leaving strategy up to my engineer (Mark Dutton)," he admitted.
Whilst misfortune at Hamilton saw Lowndes slip out of the top 15 in the championship, this position was put to good use today, with the reigning Bathurst Champion allowed to take to the track for the first sector of qualifying. Lowndes and TeamVodafone used the session to work on a traditional race package before simulating a race run on his 'Sprint' set of tyres in the second sector. Lowndes completed more laps than any other competitor, giving the team a good understanding of the speed and longevity of the tyres.
"We had three very productive sessions today," Lowndes explained. "We opted to use the soft tyre in the middle sector and try it over race spec which gave us some invaluable information." "The car is working great, it is responding to everything we try and it this stage it extremely good over a longer run."
"Going out in the first part of qualifying allowed us to use the whole of third sector to work on qualifying," he said.
Qualifying for Race 5 of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series will take place at 11am tomorrow before racing gets underway at 3.30pm.