In the wise words of respected philosopher Duff Man: Oh, yeah!
Phillip Island is just three sleeps away and the most epic of championship battles is set to recommence on the resurfaced circuit that has been the scene of many a championship tussle.
And having heard from engineers JJ and Dutto on their Phillip Island memories and had Lowndesy’s account of that “incident” from 2006, we thought it best to catch up with the man whose most recent recollection of Phillip Island is, well, a little shaky…
Of course, we’re talking J-Dub and the t-boning of the century, courtesy of good friend and current championship rival Will Davison in 2012.
At the time, it was no laughing matter, an unassuming J-Dub taken out of the race by an out-of-control Davison after having just assumed the lead in a five-lap, four-car battle.
But looking back, J-Dub can’t help but crack a smile and laugh at his own expense – well, Dutto’s expense to be exact.
“It was race one, 2012,” J-Dub says with a laugh that won’t quit.
“It’s actually quite funny when you look back on it. I didn’t’ even know Davo was in the grass. I’ve turned into Honda, which is one of the slowest corners, and next minute, BOOM! There’s this massive impact, from nowhere, and I’m pirouetting into the gravel trap.”
OK, unless you’re a rival supporter and we’re not, we’re yet to see the funny side…
“So, I’ve been hit that hard that the car’s in all sorts, I’m sitting in a gravel trap and for a few seconds I’m sitting there thinking ‘what the hell has happened?” J-Dub continues.
“And then Dutto comes on the radio, screaming: ‘Watch out, watch out, watch out!’ Well, Dutto, you were a little too late. The telecast everyone is watching back in the garage has about a four-second delay so by the time Dutto’s come on the radio warning me I’ve pretty much unclipped myself and am getting out of the car.
“I’ve stirred him up a fair bit since. We look back on that and piss ourselves.”
J-Dub’s Phillip Island record in general is no laughing matter. He’s had countless DNFs there, be it courtesy of bad luck, mechanical failure or self-infliction.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have many good memories from Phillip Island at all, despite it being a great track,” he says.
“All my memories are either getting done in the last stint after leading all day or getting shunted. I actually shunted my first ever Formula Ford there way back when and almost put an end to my motorsport career before it ever even started.
“My dad sold a block of land to buy me a Formula Ford for $30k and I went down there and wrote it off over Lucas Heights.
“I’ve had some luck there, I think in 2008 I won a couple races, but that’s about it.”
Some bad luck indeed. There’s the time when Skaifey infamously gave the No.1 car a nudge to jam the door shut and effectively cost J-Dub a race win (see JJ’s piece from last week). There have been tyre delaminations, mechanical black flags and last lap passes.
“I’ve been done there three years in a row on the last stint,” he says.
“We were leading 2009 and a tyre blew with two laps to go. I got done there by Craig in the last stint in 2010 and 2011. Garth’s got me there as well. I’ve been the bridesmaid there plenty. I’ve had a tough run down there. So I can only hope things change and maybe go my way this week.”
And so too can we.
Stay tuned for more from J-Dub, Lowndesy and the team this week as one of the most definitive rounds of V8 Supercars history nears closer.
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