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LIVE DIARY: Newcastle 500 Saturday

We caught up with the drivers following the race and this is what they had to say:

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

“It was a really disappointing day and I take full responsibility for what happened. I shouldn’t have been up the inside of car 23 on Lap 1. You make contact all year – it was wrong place, wrong time and then boom I smashed the steering hard into the wall – it was basically the end of our day. I’m disappointed and I haven’t made a mistake in a really long time but end of the day I will never say die, I will come out fighting tomorrow and see what we can salvage. The crew did an amazing job, they always do and this time they got the car out quickly. There’s so many elements to motorsport and we got most of them right but unfortunately today it came down to my errors – I just made one at the wrong time.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“Qualifying today was really good, the car was quite nice but then it turned – I was on a good lap and had some systems problems which was a shame. Although, going into the main race we still had a good car and had good confidence but that changed quickly. We just had nothing the whole race – we fought hard with a good strategy and tried to stay up front but the car just had nothing. It’s certainly one to forget, that’s for sure. Now, we have to make the car better and try again tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough one.”

5:48pm And just like that, the race is over. Shane comes through P16 and Jamie is P21. We effectively lose the Teams Championship due to DJR Team Penske’s podium finish.

5:40pm After passing Reynolds, Shane receives a 15 second penalty for his contact meaning he’s out of the race…

4:43pm Shane doesn’t seem too happy with his car and is struggling to hold on.

4:08pm SVG holds the fort for Red Bull Holden in P3 as Jamie finally makes it out, well behind.

3:50pm We’re not even one lap in and Jamie has a shunt, putting him out of the race while the crew fix his steering and front right wheel.

3:20pm It’s nearly go time… Sun’s out and we’re ready for a big one.

2:30pm It’s just over an hour until the big race, we’re getting nervous!

1:45pm Drivers parade was epic! The crowds lining the track were unreal…

11:25am Qualifying is over and we didn’t finish where we’d like to have – SVG came in P3 and J-Dub finished P5. A lo of work to be done from here.

9:10am Car 88 is raring and ready to go!

7:00am A big day in store for us today… Qualifying will be most important considering the lack of passing opportunities down here in Newcastle.