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Preview: Clipsal 500

Clipsal 500 fast facts

  • The first ever Clipsal 500 was run in 1999 and our very own Mr Lowndes is just one of three drivers in this year’s field to have raced in every single one. The other two are Garth Tander and – yep, you guessed it – V8 Supercars’ vintage driver, Russell Ingall.
  • Despite having won nine races on the Adelaide street circuit, Triple Eight has only won the event four times. Harsh, right?! This is because the official Clipsal 500 winner is always Sunday’s victorious driver.
  • What’s that smell? Oh it’s change, there’s some of it lurking about in the air for 2014. For the first time ever, the Clipsal 500 will run over three races, with two twilight races on Saturday and one gruelling 250km race on Sunday.
  • Both the qualifying and race lap records belong to our man Jamie Whincup, whose 2012 times of 1.20.5353 (qualifying) and 1.21.0507 (race lap) are still the benchmark.
  • J-Dub has led an incredible 395 laps of the Clipsal 500 since 2006. Let’s put that into perspective folks – that’s the equivalent of just over five 250km Clipsal races from start to finish. Pretty impressive!

 

Red Bull Racing Australia at the Clipsal 500

Last year’s season opener was an event of debuts – two new manufacturers, the Car of the Future and, most importantly, yours truly. Red Bull Racing Australia exploded onto the scene in Adelaide with some not-too-shabby results. Let’s jog your memory…

  • Saturday qualifying

Craig – 3rd          Jamie – 5th

  • Saturday race

Craig – 1st          Jamie – 3rd

  • Sunday qualifying

Craig – 8th          Jamie – 3rd

  • Sunday race

Craig – 3rd          Jamie – 2nd

 

What the drivers have to say

Lowndesy: “We’re really looking forward to getting back on track and hitting the ground running in 2014. We spent last year getting to know the new generation cars, getting to know their quirks and this year we can really start fine-tuning them.

“We had a great Clipsal last year so we’re obviously hoping to repeat that this year. The competition is going to be even tighter because everyone knows their cars better and is 12 months more advanced. We’re expecting to see the other makes come on pretty strong this year too. The Volvo guys are obviously on the grid for the first time at Clipsal and we definitely shouldn’t underestimate them.”

J-Dub: “It’s been a long time since Homebush and although I had a great break I definitely feel like it’s time to get back on track.

“I’m a big fan of changing things up, so I’m looking forward to the new format. It’ll definitely make our job somewhat easier on Saturday physically. It turns an endurance race into two sprint races, which is good because it gives us a bit of everything.

“I’m looking forward to working with my new engineer, David Cauchi – it’s a new challenge, but he’s seriously capable of doing the job. He’s been a race engineer and he’s been with Triple Eight for years. He’s no rookie.”