Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Practice 4 – 13th (Fastest Time: 01:48.8647)
Qualifying – Fourth (Fastest Time: 01:47.9946)
Race 2 – Fifth
Championship – Fifth (1,981 points)
“I am disappointed in my own performance but overall from a team perspective,we fought hard this weekend to make it happen. We were nowhere on Friday and to get P5 and P6 as a result today is a credit to the team’s effort and hard work. We shouldn’t roll out with the 20th quickest car so slightly behind the A-ball this weekend with car pace. Unfortunately, in the race I fought hard at the start and the tyres were going off hard. In the end, I pushed a little too hard, dropping a spot and therefore we couldn’t maximise the results we hoped for. We were aiming for P4 and ended P5 so we will live and learn. I don’t feel like we performed worse than anyone else, it’s just that as a group we didn’t have a great weekend.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 4 – 24th (Fastest Time: 01:49.6198)
Qualifying – 16th (Fastest Time: 01:49.5133)
Race 2 – Sixth
Championship – Fourth (2,122 points)
“Today we did a good job at salvaging the performance and results from what could have been. Yesterday we finished in sixth and to get sixth position again today is not too bad again considering the results from practice and being way off the mark. There is not much to say as it is what it is and from looking at the competition, we were only good enough for sixth. The team has worked very hard and put together strategies that were good, but during the race I didn’t have any opportunities to pass anyone out there. It was more about just driving around the track for 41 laps so not much actual racing which we would like to see and opportunities to pass cars. In the end we just had to work our way up to sixth so we will take it and move on to Auckland.”
1545: Let’s just take the good with the bad. You saw it, we saw it – and think we can say we definitely got a kick out of The Bend. Now we look forward to doing the 500 here next year – can anyone say that will get very interesting!?!
JDub – P5
SVG – P6
1455: and… this just happened. Did not see that one coming especially with five to go!
1430: Meanwhile SVG keeps moving on up… after starting in P16 bets are on as to which position exactly he will end the race – any guesses? Your guess is probably as good as ours but we are aiming for at least top 10!
1355: Maybe that was too big of a risk JDub?
1350: Epic driving – keep it up!
1340: Let’s go racing.
1200: Is it just us or is this day seemingly like a crammed Winton weekend? There is no time for anything as the race is in just under two hours time.
1130: Wow – JDub pushes through and ends qualifying with P4. Some big gains for car 88 after the last two days of being in the back of the pack.
1120: SVG will start today’s race from P16. JDub is straight into Q3 for the final top 10 position on the grid.
1105: The qualifying session has started but we are sitting in the garage. Cars haven’t cooled enough and strategy looks like only one or two flyers. Stay tuned.
1100: Boom! One lap is all that it took for both bulls to end Q1 up on top. Need to cool down and back at it for Q2.
1050: Qualifying time.
0940: Disappointing ending to practice. Once again we will be leaving it all on the track to work our way from Q1.
JDub – P13 — 01:48.8647
SVG – P24 — 01:49.6198
0900: Practice 4.
0800: Final day out at The Bend. Short and quick day of action out on track. The crew were back late working on a plan, strategy, data and everything in between to get some answers.
Sunday 25 August
Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Practice 3 – 24th (Fastest Time: 01:50.0142)
Qualifying – Ninth (Fastest Time: 01:48.5502)
Race 1 – 11th
“We made a huge step from yesterday as we were well and truly down the bottom of the pack but it’s still a little disappointing as it only put us in the bottom of the top 10. For qualifying, we maximised what we could and did as well as we could have coming from behind; starting in Q1 and going through to the top 10. The race itself was difficult. We pitted early and went into it with an aggressive strategy, but the story of the day is that we didn’t have enough pace out there. At the moment, the biggest concern for me is braking. I am very weak under brakes and when trying to go deeper into the corners to be competitive, the car simply locks up and goes off track, which is why I lost a few spots in the end. All that however is insignificant given that we lacked pace and didn’t have fast enough cars, which showed in our results of P6 and P11. Hopefully we can make another big step forward for tomorrow but it’s not a straightforward solution. We will take another swing at it and see if we can find the performance needed.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 3 – 20th (Fastest Time: 01:49.6618)
Qualifying – Eighth (Fastest Time: 01:48.5912)
Race 1 – Sixth
“Finishing the race in sixth position after how the team was going yesterday is a good result. It felt better this morning but obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted which made us then have to start qualifying in Q1. For qualifying, the results were better as we managed to move up and qualify in the top 10. The race was just follow the leader which didn’t allow me to do anything. I tried a few moves to pass some of the other cars including an undercut but unfortunately had to back off and then ended up following everyone for the rest of the race. For tomorrow if we can be up there, possibly be third or fourth it would be great but for now we will go back and see if we can continue in the right direction.”
1700: Just before the drivers ducked off into debrief (to hopefully find that much needed performance improvement for tomorrow), they had a couple of words to share on what was a roller coaster of a day.
1630: Although it’s not where we want to be you have to admit it’s much better than where we started out yesterday or this morning for that matter. It’s all been a very long work in progress season but we will continue to keep our heads down and work towards finding that ‘thing’ – and if you find it before us please be sure to let us know.
JDub – P11
SVG – P6
1600: As the remainder of the cars settle into the race, SVG is starting to get itchy feet and he just may make a dive around JDub- or Cauchi could just tell JDub to let SVG pass (makes it easier).
1530: What a start! It’s a miracle that JDub and SVG managed to escape any major, if any damage at all.
1525: 500th Championship Race Start here we go!
1315: Nice recovery. We will take that and lock in P8 and P9 on the grid to start that magical championship race start number 500 here at The Bend.
JDub – P9 — 01:48.5503
SVG – P8 — 01:48.5192
1300: Made it! Let’s roll into Q3.
1250: Take 2.
1245: Great driving from JDub and SVG. What can we say JDub just needs that little bit extra.
1235: Q1 ready. Drivers you have 10 minutes.
1200: It seems like we are going back to back with appearances and on track sessions. Qualifying is only 30 minutes away and we need to keep moving on up if we are to make Q3. Are you keeping up with us?
1120: Coming out of a debrief and straight into an autograph session to see all the fans that have come out here today. Thank you for coming out and battling the cold wind to support the Red Bull Holden Racing Team!
1030: Ugh… there is not much we can say. We are just as devastated as you are for not making it easy on ourselves. bnut there’s not much we can do so starting from Q1 it is for both our drivers. It will just simply mean that the whole team again will be putting in all the effort to get a good starting position ahead of the race this afternoon.
JDub – P23 — 01:50.0142
SVG – P19 — 01:49.6618
1020: SVG seems to be struggling. It’s a push and shove with the car. Looks like he is maintaining the new grass features for the facility.
1005: The weather has certainly taken a turn for the worse. While managing to blind us this morning in our stunning photo, it has now brought the wind and chill factor. The rain on the radar seems to be approaching too but maybe, just maybe it won’t rain on our parade.
1000: The bulls are hitting the track which means that it is also the time to make the top 10 for qualifying. Here’s to hoping it’s a better day.
0900: One hour until practice so the drivers retreat to get in the zone.
0745: Time to get some breakfast and head into briefing. Let’s hope the engineers have had their Red Bulls.
0730: It’s a big day in the Triple Eight calendar and yes it does have to be documented. 500th Championship race starts – say CHEESE!
0700: It’s never too early for pit stop practice. Gorgeous sunlight beaming down onto the track this morning but we can feel the chill factor. Let’s hope that those possible rain clouds stay away!
0645: Rise and rest! Yes it’s a new day and just like everyone else it’s time for a new start, new prospective. After some time in debrief last night here’s to hoping the team have found a plan and strategy for race day.
Saturday 24 August
Jamie Whincup – Car #88
Practice 1 – 19th (Fastest Time: 01:51.8441)
Practice 2 – 25th (Fastest Time: 01:51:4785)
“It was definitely a tough day set up wise. We arrived here and didn’t roll the car out of the truck fast enough which was evident in the co-driver session. We made some big changes, but nothing showed any improvement, nor the big performance needed to make a difference out there on the track. There is no doubt we will be going through a lot of information in debrief tonight so it will be a late night looking over the data for some direction. We will try to find where our performance has gone from the last round at Queensland Raceway and obviously here last year.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 1 – 12th (Fastest Time: 01:51.2295)
Practice 2 – 16th (Fastest Time: 01:49.6621)
“Today was a difficult day for the team. The first practice session was tough and the second session although it seemed to be much better, there still wasn’t enough speed in the car. We will need to take a look at all three practice sessions and work out what’s gone wrong. From this morning’s co-driver session, we changed drivers so maybe it’s me. Fortunately, we do have another practice session tomorrow so the big thing tonight will be to put our heads together between the two cars and come up with a solution for tomorrow.”
CRAIG LOWNDES – Car #88
Practice 4 – Ninth (Fastest Time: 01:49.3219)
“It’s great to be back in the car. This circuit is really a fun track to drive on; good elevation and it’s fast and flowing. The car was probably a little bit outside the window of where we wanted it to be to begin the practice session. We had a set up change that we wanted to do and got it done to improve the car slightly within the co-driver practice. Hopefully the changes made gives the team a direction forward for Jamie and Shane. It’s great to be back in the car and great to be back here at Tailem Bend.”
GARTH TANDER – Car #97
Practice 4 – Third (Fastest Time: 01:50.3110)
“It’s good to be back in the car. I’ve done a few ride days in the car since the last co-driver session at Winton but it’s good to back in it and have a proper on track session. The car felt good and I felt comfortable in the car. We got a bit of development work done for the team, so it was a very encouraging session.”
1610: Definitely not the practice session we were looking for nor the start to the weekend we envisioned. The garage seemed relatively quiet and it will no doubt be best to leave it to our drivers to sum up exactly just what happened throughout the day. After all we just get to see it all from the outside and so do you.
JDub – P25 — 01:51.4785
SVG – P16 — 01:49.6621
1540: Practice two is here.
1430: No much time between practices. Going straight from debrief into a drivers’ blackout to get into the mood for practice two coming up in an hour.
1340: Well that was the first practice. Jumping into debrief for the drivers to see where the improvements can be made.
JDub – P19– 01:51.8441
SVG – P12 — 01:51.2295
1320: ICK! Did you see that?
1310: Gearing up to roll out for practice. 2018 was a great year for us … let’s see if we can make it all happen again.
1115: Our co-drivers had a fairly good crack at it out there. Time to hand it back over to the main drivers for their first practice later today.
CL – P9 – 01:51.3219
GT – P3 – 01:50.3110
1045: Co-drivers hit the track for the first time since Winton – now that seems like it was ages ago!
1030: CL takes Car 88 for a quick spin for TV Land before he can jump behind the wheel for the full co-driver session.
0830: Lucky enough to have our co-drivers with us – looking ahead to the practice coming up in a couple of hours.
0800: After a what seems to have been a LONG mid-season break we are back and ready for some weekend of racing at Tailem Bend!
Friday 23 August