Jamie Whincup snapped a seven race winless drought for Red Bull Racing Australia as he returned to the podium to claim victory in race two on Saturday at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Starting in second place, JDub got the jump from the start overtaking pole sitter Chaz Mostert heading into turn one and quickly settled into the lead as Fabian Coulthard closed on his rear wing for the 16-lap soft tyre sprint.
A broken engine header did little to curtail Jamie’s ambitions and as he crossed the line he broke his own 15 race winless streak which stretched back to the Sunday race at the Tasmania SuperSprint.
Saturday’s opener saw things end up as they started, with Jamie finishing a strong third behind Mark Winterbottom and winner Chaz Mostert, while Lowndesy came home in fifth behind Dave Reynolds.
Craig finished race two in 10th claiming more points as he made up two places following a qualifying run that saw him start 12th on the grid.
JAMIE WHINCUP (VF Holden Commodore, Car #1)
Practice Three: 8th (Fastest Lap – 1:30.7130)
Qualifying One: 3rd (Fastest Lap – 1:30.2168)
Qualifying Two: 2nd (Fastest Lap – 1:29.0874)
Race One: 3rd
Race Two: 1st
“I got into the lead from the start and the race was semi under control, but then the engine header broke so I lost quite a bit of horsepower. I was pretty loose out of turn six using a bit of track, jumping over curbs and got a bad sportsmanship flag so I had to back that off a little bit too. The car was reasonable. It wasn’t the quickest car out there but it was quicker than most. We’re just striving to keep getting better and we’re starting to get a few results for our hard work. It’s been a long time since I’ve won. I was thinking about that during the last few laps…about how long it’s been and what the procedure was afterwards. A big effort has gone on behind the scenes over the last three months and we haven’t really had much reward for it, but the win today was quite nice.”
CRAIG LOWNDES (VF Holden Commodore, Car #888)
Practice Three: 23rd (Fastest Lap – 1:32.0917)
Qualifying One: 5th (Fastest Lap – 1:30.5394)
Qualifying Two: 12th (Fastest Lap – 1:29.5502)
Race One: 5th
Race Two: 10th
“Race one wasn’t too bad, starting and finishing fifth. We had good pace on the harder compound tyre which was more than I expected. Starting a little further back in twelfth for the race on the softer tyre meant it all came down to having a good start, which we did. I stayed out of trouble for the opening couple of laps, but it’s very difficult to pass on a track like this especially during a short race, so we ended up tenth. I think though that we had a much better car than where we placed. When you’re following someone you burn up your tyres faster but we managed to survive and claim some more points. We’ve got to fight harder tomorrow to get up to the front.”
Sunday’s racing begins tomorrow with qualifying starting at 11:45am local time followed by the main 200KM event.