Winton: WPS/WOW Racing Saturday report

TOP TEN AND DOUBLE POINTS FINISH FOR WPS/WOW RACING IN WINTON OPENER A superb team effort has seen WPS/WOW Racing score it's best race finish of the season in the opening race of Round Four of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Winton ...

TOP TEN AND DOUBLE POINTS FINISH FOR WPS/WOW RACING IN WINTON OPENER

A superb team effort has seen WPS/WOW Racing score it's best race finish of the season in the opening race of Round Four of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria today.

WOW Racing driver Max Wilson finished ninth and WPS Racing pilot Jason Bargwanna 11th in Race One of this weekend's event, marking the first time the team has scored points with both cars in a race this season.

It was a tremendous team effort from the WPS/WOW Racing crew in today's 40-lap event, with strategy and pit work crucial over the course of the race, which started in wet and rainy conditions and dried as the laps wore on.

Earlier in the day Wilson qualified 23rd in an improvement from his practice pace on Friday, while Bargwanna was 25th.

Both cars made a strong start to the race on the wet track, with Wilson's #8 WOW Racing Falcon in 18th and Bargwanna's #10 WPS Racing Falcon in 20th at the end of the first lap.

On lap eight Wilson was in 13th position and Bargwanna in 16th when the second Safety Car of the race was called to retrieve the car of Russell Ingall from the Turn Six gravel trap. As cars slowed for the caution Bargwanna was hit by another car and pushed off track, dropping the former Bathurst champion down to 26th.

Wilson and Bargwanna each pitted under Safety Car on lap 20 with both changing their rear rubber for another pair of treaded wet tyres.

On lap 30 Wilson and Mark Winterbottom made contact at Turn 10, sending Wilson off-track after running for some time in the top 10.

With Wilson now 13th and Bargwanna edging forward to 16th, a fourth Safety Car period was called with six laps to go. The WPS/WOW Racing crew made a calculated decision to pit both drivers under the Safety Car to replace their wet tyres for slicks.

The move was a bold one with Wilson in the points and Bargwanna only one place out of a points scoring position, but the move proved a masterstroke.

When the race was restarted for a final charge to the line with four laps remaining Wilson was in 21st and Bargwanna in 23rd, but with a dry line now present on the Winton circuit both cars moved forward with rapid pace.

The strong finish earned WPS/WOW Racing a total of 15 points from today's race and puts both cars in a strong position for tomorrow's remaining two races.

Jamie Whincup won today's race ahead of Steven Richards and defending V8 Supercar Champ Rick Kelly.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Max Wilson -- #8 WOW Racing Falcon

"The rain really opened today's race up for us today and the team did a great job to make all the right calls," said Wilson.

"We changed the strategy on the go while we were already running in the points. It was a good call and it got us a top 10 and a good points finish, which is our goal for every race.

"We can now work to stay up there in the top 10 tomorrow.

"We put the slicks on there with only a few laps to go when the track was still a little damp. The move paid off and we had the car to move through the pack.

"When I was driving around in the first half of the race I was considering putting slicks on at our first pit stop but the safer option was definitely to go for wets as the track was still quite slippery.

"To do a second stop later under Safety Car conditions was a good move and we came away with a great result."

Jason Bargwanna -- #10 WPS Racing Falcon

"We never, ever gave up in today's race," said Bargwanna.

"We worked hard and did the best we could as a team and in the end we came away with a good result.

"I backed off when I saw yellow flags and Safety Car boards waving and got the call over the radio. Then I got hit from behind and in the left side and was pushed straight off the track and it was not readdressed during the race.

"We lost a heap of spots but we continued to work at it and we got the result we wanted.

"The crew did a great job to get both our cars up there. We passed a lot of cars out there, some of them twice after we got pushed off, so it just goes to show what hard effort and team work can do when you give it everything you've got."

Craig Gore -- Team Owner

"Today was an outstanding display of team work from the entire crew and their hard work paid off," said Gore.

"The boys did a great job to bring Max and Bargs in late in the race at the same time and fit slicks to the cars. The move paid off and we've got some good points to start the weekend.

"Both our drivers worked very hard today, passing a lot of cars and driving through the pack in what was a hectic and challenging race because of the weather. It was a great drive from both drivers and they were rewarded with points-scoring finishes.

"Our goal is for both cars to be scoring points on a regular basis and to challenge for the top 10. That's what we've done today and I'm very proud of the team's effort.

"Tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure we can build on today's results and continue to work hard at getting the job done."

-credit: wps/wow

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Jason Bargwanna , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom , Steven Richards