JAMIE Whincup and Craig Lowndes have cemented a near-perfect weekend for Red Bull Racing Australia in Texas, the pair leaving Austin one-two in the V8 Supercars championship after another dominant day at the Circuit of the Americas.
Whincup racked up his 70th career victory and 19th on international soil, claiming race four after a third-place finish in race three behind team-mate Lowndes and race-winner Fabian Coulthard. The win gave the reigning champion his third win from four races in the United States after winning the inaugural race a day earlier, Lowndes working his way up to finish fifth in the final race after qualifying 12th.
For the second time in as many weekends, the Red Bull VF Commodores emerged from the race weekend unscathed and the team will head to Darwin as the cars to beat after having won six of the past seven races.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Whincup, who now leads the championship on 1247 points from Lowndes (1105).
“What an unbelievable event. The team did a phenomenal job and we really couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. We had a good battle with Fabian and probably didn’t have quite the same speed as the day earlier but we got it done and we leave here very happy.
“It’s a state of the art facility here in Texas and we love good quality places and it means a little bit more to get that win over here.”
Whincup started race three and four from pole position, Coulthard getting the jump from the four-time champion in race three and leading home Lowndes under investigation from the stewards. Coulthard was accused of exceeding the speed limit from the restart and as of this morning the incident was still under investigation.
A consistent Lowndes finished the weekend with three second-places and a fifth, the three-time champion suffering tyre degradation during qualifying to relegate him to a 12th-place start. But with championship rival Will Davison taking himself and Scott McLaughlin out of the race while in a battle with the No.888 car, Lowndes was gifted two positions and outright second in the championship. A slick Red Bull Racing Australia pit stop then allowed Lowndes to jump a further five positions and finish a close fifth behind Garth Tander.
“We let ourselves down a bit in qualifying for race four but other than that, we fought back and it was a great weekend for myself and the team,” Lowndes said.
“It would’ve been nice to get that win, but three second places is a great result and gives Red Bull I think seven podiums from a possible eight. I can’t wait to come back to Texas.”
The team will enjoy a week off in America before returning to Australia for the next round in Darwin on June 14-16.