The Whincup/Dumbrell combo again proved fruitful for Red Bull Racing Australia on Saturday as Jamie and Paul combined to put car #1 on pole for tomorrow’s 161-lap enduro race.
Starting in third it was over to Paul for the first of two qualifying races. A great start and a bit of luck with the two Prodrive cars parting ways saw PD hit the gap and took the lead. From there he controlled the race which meant Jamie would start the next qualifying race in P1.
A fast start would be crucial for JDub as he lined up on the grid in the afternoon and that’s exactly what he got as Mark Winterbottom attempted to get the jump on him heading into turn one. The 20-lap qualifying race may have been short and sharp, but the fight to hold both Winterbottom and his teammate Chaz Mostert was ever present.
A late safety car bunched the field and the drama continued as it exited the track with one lap remaining. Leading the drag race toward turn one Jamie again found himself fighting to hold onto first, but he snuck through to close the door and take the chequered flag.
Lowndesy and Richo’s day saw plenty of action, but unfortunately they couldn’t get the result they were searching for as Craig finished P23 in the afternoon’s second qualifying race. Earlier on Steve had finished P12 making up four spots in the #888 Holden Commodore.
History beckons tomorrow for the team as we look to win our sixth consecutive pre-Bathurst Enduro at the Sandown 500. Cheer us on from 1:25PM local time. TV schedule available here.
What they said:
JAMIE WHINCUP / PAUL DUMBRELL: Car #1
Practice 4: 3rd ( Fastest lap 1:08:96:81) – Whincup
Qualifying: 3rd ( Fastest lap 1:09.0185 ) – Whincup
Qualifying Race 1 (co-drivers): 1st – Dumbrell
Qualifying Race 2: 1st – Whincup
“It was dog eat dog out there and I had to work hard for that one which is what racing is all about. It’s great to get the result of pole position, but the biggest prize is being the quickest car out there. Lately we’ve been able to get a pole and a win, but we haven’t been had the quickest car so there’s still some work to do. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s main event.”
“At the start of the race the sea parted and it let me get through into the lead. The car was really strong out there, it’s been strong all weekend. Tyre life has been a big question mark for everyone up and down pit lane and we’re mindful of that as it’s a long race on Sunday. I think we’ve made some positive inroads with the car. We’ve still got a little bit more work to do though to make sure we’re there for the end of tomorrow’s race.”
LOWNDES / RICHARDS: Car #888
Practice 4: 13th (Fastest lap 1:09:4741) – Lowndes
Qualifying: 16th (Fastest lap 1:09.4692 ) – Lowndes
Qualifying Race 1 (co-drivers): 12th – Richards
Qualifying Race 2: 23rd – Lowndes
“We’ve definitely improved the car, it was nicer to drive and had more speed, which is a good thing for us. I made a mistake into Dandenong corner when my tyre locked up and I couldn’t clear it. Then I had a run on Jack Perkins who was the innocent party. The drive through penalty was justified and toward the end we showed good pace which was encouraging. I think tomorrow is all about circulating for the first half of the race and staying out of trouble to see where we end up. We need speed at the end of the day to be able to fight at the front.”
“There was a fair bit going on during the qualifying race and the main objective was to get through it unscathed. I had a good start, but I was stuck on the outside so I just had to make sure I didn’t get run wide into turn one. We made up four places which in a short race is always good. There was a bit of a moment with Jones and Premat which could have been a lot worse and I had to take some evasive action. We definitely need to improve the car and ensure rear tyre life remains as the stint gets longer.”