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Behind the Scenes: Winton 2019

It’s taken us a bit of time to thaw out from Winton but it seems like we may have brought the weather back with us to the so-called Sunshine State.

Laughter, we are told, is a good medicine and possibly kept us a little warm behind the scenes.  We no doubt have a good laugh at ourselves sometimes because, after all, life isn’t meant to be all work and no play, hence we don’t keep it all to ourselves and want to share it with you too.

 

One word:

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

Millennial.

 

Mouth-full:

When lollies get stuck in your teeth.

 

Drinks:

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

Beer o’clock mate?

 

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

… nope, just a another mustang.

 

Co-driver issues:

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

“Dude, where’s my car?”

 

More co-driver issues:

ruck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

Where does this part go?

 

TV role:

“Me and TV – that’s funny.”

 

“Come on!”

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

Someone better tell the apprentice it’s not Lleyton Hewitt in the car.

 

Pit crew:

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

Not so picture perfect.

 

There’s always one:

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

PHOTO BOMB!

 

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Podium provides some warmth at Winton

Third for J-Dub on Sunday was a good way to wrap up a Winton weekend of cold weather and a red-hot opposition that’s showing no sign of slowing down.

By Matthew Clayton on redbull.com

 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

 

Jamie Whincup was happy. Sort of, anyway.

“I thought we really maximised today,” the Red Bull Holden Racing Team star said after finishing third in Race 14 of the Supercars season at Winton on Sunday.

“We made a little step from last year.”

Jamie Whincup was unhappy. Sort of, anyway. “These guys made a giant leap,” he continued after Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard finished Sunday’s race in a Team Penske 1-2, which came after McLaughlin won Race 13 of the season as well on Saturday to create a bigger bulge in what was an already-imposing championship lead.

READ MORE:  Out of the darkness: a podium and progress in Perth

It was a weekend of marginal gains at Winton for RBHRT, not so much in a championship sense given McLaughlin stretched his lead over the rest to 244 points before the halfway mark of the 2019 campaign, but for Whincup in particular the longer the weekend went.

Sixth in Saturday’s 40-lap race from 10th on the grid, J-Dub nailed his qualifying lap on Sunday to start third behind … well, you guessed it … and ended up in the same place after 67 laps, emerging victorious from an afternoon-long strategic battle with Erebus Racing’s David Reynolds that was only decided after a late-race safety car saw the final laps become a pulse-quickening sprint to the flag.

 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

 

“I had an awesome battle with Dave through the pit stop strategies,” he said after his fifth podium of the season, and second in as many race meetings after finishing second in Race 12 in Perth last time out.

“We thought we blew it in the first pit stop we did, it seemed we may have probably pitted a bit early. We definitely were lucky to then get a second chance on the second stop which got us back in the lead.  A good job by (David) Cauchi and the engineers to find the pace that we needed today.

“We were aiming for a podium as that was going to be our best result, and I’m happy to see that we got there in the end.”

Whincup now has 1168 points to rise one spot to fifth in the title race, which continued his happy/not happy demeanour.

“We’ll take P3 in Winton and forever keep trying to bridge the gap to the two cars ahead,” he said.

Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen didn’t have as much to smile about after Winton; truth be told, SVG would have been happy just to be able to see straight after an untimely eye infection affected the early part of his weekend, the Kiwi briefly resorting to sunglasses to cope with the glare and prevent the pain in Saturday practice.

Winton is a tough track to pass on even if you’re near the front, and qualifying defined SVG’s weekend; he started just 12th on Saturday before muscling his way to fifth in the race, and started even further back on Sunday (13th) before finishing seventh in a tight train of cars crawling all over one another after the safety car restart.

 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

 

SVG went home to warmer climes – most places in late May are warmer than Winton, mind you – still in third place in the championship with 1231 points and, after 14 races, is the only Holden driver to deny Ford’s Mustang a clean sweep of the season to date thanks to his victory at Symmons Plains in April, McLaughlin taking his ninth and 10th wins of the year across the weekend.

“Today … much of the same again,” SVG said on Sunday after bemoaning a second straight day of qualifying woes dulling his potential for progress in the race.

“I had no confidence and no grip from the car, which just bites you in the end. I enjoyed the racing but unfortunately, I was too far back. I saw Cam (Waters) at the end, shook hands with him as it was a good race. A few little bumps in the end and almost got past him. It was a fun race, but I just wasn’t far enough in the front of the pack.”

READ MORE: Island ills make for rough ride for RBHRT

The Supercars series calendar now slows down after 14 races in three months to start the year, the mid-point of the season coming at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin on June 14-16. For SVG, the way up as the series shifts north is crystal-clear.

“For ourselves, we need to keep doing our best so we can be the best Holden team out on track,” he said on Sunday night.

“Keep finishing top five and earning points so we have a chance at the end of the season …”

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Live Diary: Winton 2019

Jamie Whincup – Car #88 

Practice 2Fourth (Fastest Time: 01:19.1940)
Qualifying – Third (Fastest Time: 01:19.1049)
Race 2 – Third

ChampionshipFifth (1,168 points)

“I thought we really maximised today.  We were aiming for a podium as that was going to be our best results and I am happy to see that we got there in the end.  I had an awesome battle with Dave Reynolds through the pit spot strategies that were used.  Initially, we thought we blew it in the first pit stop we did as it seemed we may have probably pitted a bit early.  We definitely were lucky to then get a second chance on the second stop which got us back in the lead.  A good job by (David) Cauchi and the engineers to find the pace that we needed today.  We will take P3 in Winton and forever keep trying to bridge the gap to the two cars ahead.”

 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

 

Shane Van Gisbergen – Car #97

Practice 215th (Fastest Time: 01:19.5993)
Qualifying – 13th (Fastest Time: 01:19.5390)
Race 2 – Seventh

ChampionshipThird (1,231 points)

“The race was about finding a balance and being more confident today then yesterday in changeable conditions.  Yesterday in those conditions you needed to be committed and I obviously wasn’t as I just kept going off the track.  The race itself was fine driving through to fifth but maybe could have fought better if we started better.  Today though, was much of the same again.  I had no confidence and no grip from the car which just bites you in the end.  I enjoyed the racing but unfortunately, I was too far back.  I saw Cam at the end, shook hands with him as it was a good race.  A few little bumps in the end and almost got past him but gave the spot back.  It was a fun race but I just wasn’t far enough in the front of the pack.  For ourselves, we need to keep doing our best so we can be the best Holden team out on track.  Keep finishing top five and earning points so we have a chance at the end of the season.”

 

1630:  We have weathered Winton – the love / hate relationships is over for another year.

 

 

1530:  This race is almost over with only six laps to go after the safety car.  Looks like we may have a podium finish for JDub.

1500:  Thought we had gotten away without having to call it but no… it’s been called.  Another safety car in Winton.  Apparently it’s been 20 years since there has been a race without a safety car.

 

 

1415:  SVG is moving on up.  He is nudging his way through traffic and meanwhile JDub has been using some strategy to move ahead up to P3.

1400: Seems like there is not much action compared to yesterday bu that could also be the super slow internet connect we have all been experiencing for the weekend.

1345:  Race time.

 

 

1150:  Great driving by JDub just being etched out for starting in the front of the grid – but hey P3 ain’t bad either.

JDub – P3 — 01:19.1049

 

1135:  Only one makes the cut to get into Q3 for the final grid positions.  SVG will start Race 2 in 13th.

JDub – P6 — 01:19.3708

SVG – P13 — 01:19.5390

 

1125:   SVG not feeling the car this session – not looking impressed but still giving it all he’s got.  We wouldn’t expect anything else.

1120:  Got through it unscathed.  Q2 coming right up.

SVG – P3 01:19.6253

 

1110:  SVG gearing up for Q1.  Let’s see what he’s got?

 

 

0950:  No luck in cracking the top 10 for SVG which means he has to work his way up to Q3 in qualifying.

JDub – P4 — 01:19.1940

SVG – P15 — 01:19.5993

 

0930:  We all wanted the sun and it’s out in force shining bright – but that glare! It’s no wonder SVG was driving around in sunnies yesterday.

 


0920:  Slight issue for SVG getting out of the garage this morning to line up for practice.

0730:  Quick bit to eat and a hot chocolate before briefing and on track for practice at 9:20am

0700:  Warm it up Winton – 5 degrees when we arrived at the track and at least the sun is out.

 

Sunday 26 May

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #88 

Practice 1Eighth (Fastest Time: 01:20.4419)
Qualifying – 10th (Fastest Time: 01:23.1525)
Race 1 – Sixth

“I’m a bit frustrated to be honest; disappointing qualifying results and then made a poor start in the race.  I have plenty of excuses, but no one really wants to hear about any of them.  The car pace deserved a better result today, but we had a few errors here and there that knocked us down.  Thankfully the cars are faster than previous races and it’s what got us out of jail today.  Fifth and sixth, we’ll take it and hopefully I can make a few less errors for tomorrow.”

 

Shane Van Gisbergen – Car #97

Practice 1Sixth (Fastest Time: 01:20.3797)
Qualifying – 12th (Fastest Time: 01:31.8773)
Race 1 – Fifth

“We ended up qualifying in 12th position which wasn’t a very good results and not where we had hoped to start the race.  The low grid position was due to driver error.  The team made some changes for the race which seemed good on both cars but were as a result of split strategies.  In the end we both finished with the same results so that’s a little confusing.  We will no doubt be looking at  that and getting some answers in team debrief.  I did have some fun passing out there.  Winton isn’t really a passing track normally, so it was good to move up a few positions and pass some of the other drivers in the race.”

 

Co-Drivers

Craig Lowndes- Car #88 

Practice – First (Fastest Time: 01:24.1662)

“It’s good to be back in the car at Winton for another co-driver session.  There were difficult conditions out on track today.  The practice session was dry to begin with which was good as we got a little bit of direction of where we wanted to put the car but as the session went on the rain came down and decided not to partake any further.  From the session, we definitely got a direction of where we wanted to take the car.  The car felt alright and road the curbs really well.  It was probably one of the better cars I’ve had around here in Winton so that side of it was really good.  It was also nice to be back in the car; see the ergonomics, see the changes and get familiar with the team while focusing on Bathurst as the first race of the Enduros.”

 

Garth Tander – Car #97

PracticeSecond (Fastest Time: 01:24.5551)

“Only the two laps today with the changeable weather conditions.  It’s a shame we didn’t get the full half an hour of practice, but with the condensed two-day format of the event and only 50 minutes between the end of our session and the start for the primary drivers we didn’t want to risk the car at all.  When it started raining, we pitted and hoped the track would dry out again.   Unfortunately, it didn’t so was only able to do the two laps out on track which was a shame.  Despite the limited time for practice, the car felt good and I felt comfortable in the car.  It’s great to be with the team again and looking forward to the next opportunity.”

 

1720:  Giving the drivers a quick breather and some time to get food in their bellies or maybe we can just keep bugging them for their daily wrap up.

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

1700:  End of the race and what no doubt seems like was a long day.  Anyone else feeling the same?

JDub – Sixth

SVG – Fifth

 

 

1640:  After finally settling down we now see both bulls neck a neck.

 

 

1615:  Have you seen anything like it?  There is some crazy racing happening out there!

 

 

1600:  Not sure we can actually right anything except check out the video from the start of the race!

1550:  This race is intense and it’s only been two laps!  When we said jam packed day and buckle up we weren’t kidding!

 

 

1520:  The drivers are out getting to the grid and there seems to be some bright light from the sky – never mind it’s just the sun.

1420:  Only an hour before the 30 minute signal.  Right now data review and debrief are happening and we are all wondering what the plans are ahead of the race but can you really plan with the uncertainty of the weather?  One thing is for sure split second decisions will be more crucial than ever if there is anything happening out there on the track during the race.

1400:  Seems like there are things popping up for both drivers and yes the weather may not be our friend but no excuses it is what it is and we start Race one in P10 and P12.

JDub – P10  — 01:23.1525

 

1340:  JDub heads out for the final grid spots up for grabs.

1335:  This three part qualifying goes by in a blink of an eye.  Fairly sure the drivers and car don’t even get warmed up by the time they have to make their flying laps.

JDub – P5 — 01:31.2803

SVG – P12 — 01:31.8773

 

1325:  Let’s hit the track – Q2 is rolling out.

 


1310:  Sitting this first qualifying session out and keeping a very, very, VERY close eye on the sky.

1230:  Racing back over (no pun intended) as qualifying starts in 30 minutes.

1200:  In the meantime we have ducked over to a signing session with CL – yes he has broken free and is re-learning to scribble his signature just for you guys.

 

 

1130:  Picturesque sky at the end of practice.  Somehow the bulls made it through to second qualifying so let’s keep the momentum going through the day and let there be sun!

JDub – P8 — 01:20.4419

SVG – P6 — 01:20.3797

 

Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint Event 6 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Winton, Victoria. Australia. 25th-26th May 2019.

 

1100:  Grease + water = super slippery track … both drivers are showing off their skills sliding around out there.

 

:

1045:  About to roll out and there is a glimmer of sunshine and clearly SVG came prepared.

1015:  First practice is coming right up and the weather is still miserable – although apparently this is normal Winton race weekend weather?

0945:  Seems like the team are not taking any chances with the unpredictable weather.  Better to be safe then sorry we hear and keep the cars in one piece and with four wheels for the race.

 

 

0930:  Well that was probably the quickest practice run – do you even call it a practice session?

0920:  Another co-driver session for the season – let’s see if the co-drivers have a magic touch and keep the weather at bay?

0730:  Wow Winton you have certainly packed it all into the weekend.  Mind you we are already at the track headnig to briefin and then straight on over to see the fans – after all it is the fans that make the atmosphere and racing so special at Winton!

 

 

Saturday 25th May

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Behind The Scenes: Winton 2018

Winton, you were ridiculously cold! But not cold enough to curb the enthusiasm of the new kid on the block, or stop the pit crew from their rehearsals…

We’re lucky to have a resident photographer on hand to capture all of the exciting (and tense) moments behind the scenes:

The look of pain when you’re told you have to hand your race car over to a new kid called ‘Bam Bam’ who has never driven a Supercar.

 

The fact that this photo was taken during qualifying is evidence that car 17’s speed is not down to Ludo. He didn’t even have his radio on.

 

When we told J-Dub that RD was on the other side of the world. 

 

Our backup singers were in full rehearsal mode preparing for J-Dub and SVG’s first live show. 

 

Spotted: D’arcy and Hado frantically trying to stream the royal wedding on Saturday.

 

Hado: “And she had TWO dresses, one for the ceremony and one for the reception…”.

 

What did Brady think of Meghan’s second dress?

 

Trying to be taken seriously but we just can’t help but notice the cute little pom-pom on SVG’s beanie.

 

PD telling the crew there’s no chance he’s driving in the rain. 

 

This was probably not the best time to take a power nap. 

 

Jimmy, aka The King Of Looking Like He’s Working Hard But Actually Isn’t.