1940 After live crosses and media interviews, we FINALLY caught up with the drivers to see how they felt, here’s what they had to say:
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 3: Fourth (Fastest Lap: 1:20.0543)
Top Ten Shootout: First (Fastest Lap: 1:19.8304)
Race 1: First
“We’ve had a pretty good run here the last few years; I really enjoyed myself today as I got myself from pole, after not knowing for about one and a half hours, and had a really good race. I had an average start, but I knew my car was really good. As we expected, the other guys were going to pit early and be aggressive and we thought we’d run with them but my car was feeling like it would get better. I pulled some clean laps while they were all in the pits and we had fresh air and were able to pick how much fuel we were putting into the car. I dropped into a nice area and caught up to the front guys and we won through strategy in the end. It was a pretty awesome debut for the new Commodore. The team had a huge undertaking to build not only our three cars, but the parts for other teams as well as helping the Tekno guys out. They had a huge operation over the Christmas period and did a fantastic job, it’s a credit to them. In the shootout, I was four wheels off the track, the line was in a different place to last year and I went off. Obviously I had no advantage as I was down the straight and it was fair enough to everyone who protested, however, they didn’t check to see if their cars were on the track. In total nine cars were four wheels off track at one point and when they found that out they all pulled out pretty quick. It was fine, the rules are different every year and that one was highlighted this year. I was expecting to get thrown out but I think it’s a good thing that they didn’t throw us all out – that would’ve been pretty average. Overall it was a great debut for the new Commodore and hopefully we can get there again tomorrow.”
Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 3: Sixth (Fastest Lap: 1:20.2647)
Top Ten Shootout: Fifth (Fastest Lap: 1:20.6941)
Race 1: Sixth
“It was a proud moment with the car being repaired and ready to go for practice three. The car was quick. We were out of position for the shootout, but we moved up four spots and finished fifth, so we were happy with that. Unfortunately five or 10 laps into the race we suffered some mechanical issues as result of the crash, which really just took the fight out of the battle for us. There was a lot of smoke coming in the car from the whole side being trashed yesterday. The crew did the best job they could in the time they had, but it all needs resealing. And the steering is really tight, all brand new components. I was wrestling it around like Brocky (Peter Brock) in 1980 in the Torana. I just had him in my head through the Cutting, both hands on the steering wheel, just trying to get around. Pretty funny! But all stuff we can fix overnight. All things considered, sixth, we’ll take that and run as a strong start to the year.”
1720 Shane is titled the first winner of 2018 and takes the all-new Commodore to its debut win! Jamie comes through in P6 after some mechanical issues.
1700 Three safety cars in the last 20mins…
1630 SVG is in P1 and just needs to hold it for 30 or so laps… Easy right?
1620 Some passing and pit stops sees the strategy play out as SVG pits later then cuts some fast laps in fresh air, while everyone else is in the pits.
1535 Lap 7 and SVG records a purple lap, keep ’em coming.
1520 The race starts, SVG has a slow start and loses his pole to go P3. Jamie drops back to P6. We have a long road ahead of us so we just wait and see how it all plays out.
1450 We’re lining up for pole position, all clear and ready to go.
1310 J-Dub cuts some laps with the Parade of Past Winners before heading over for a signing session with the other drivers. Meanwhile, SVG is caught up in a meeting with the stewards (don’t even ask).
1230 We have done an outstanding job… SVG takes pole position and J-Dub records a fast lap to start P5.
1150 The Top Ten Shootout is about to begin and the nerves are high around here… J-Dub settling in with a quick pick me up. SVG will line up for his 34th consecutive Shootout, a championship record – impressive stuff!
1010 Practice 3 is now complete. SVG went head to head with McLaughlin in the final lap but came out P4, just 0.2426 behind the lead. J-Dub finishes P6. Time to get cracking with the Top Ten Shootout.
0800 Brekky done, and boy were there some puffy eyes getting around the coffee machine today. Let’s be honest, the crew have done an amazing job turning the car around to an impeccable standard.
0730 Here she is… As good as new, phew! ;)
0700 Well, well, well… If we go by anything that happened yesterday, we’re in for another big day today. The crew have had well under the recommended 8 hours sleep, working until 4:30am, and will be firing through the Red Bull today. Good news is that J-Dub will hit the track for Practice 3 at 9:50am, the even better news is that we remembered SVG has provisional pole for the Top Ten Shootout.
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