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Preview: Darwin

Darwin 400 Fast Facts

  • We’ll just get this one out of the way – Triple Eight has never claimed a pole position at Hidden Valley. While Lowndesy’s single pole here came in 2000, this seems to be Jamie’s bogey track for qualifying, being the only one on the 2014 calendar at which he’s yet to top the timesheets.
  • Despite the fact that J-Dub has won a race every year for the last five, bar 2011, he’s yet to score multiple race wins over one weekend in Darwin.
  • Craig is Mr Consistency in the Top End. Out of the 23 races he’s started at Hidden Valley for Triple Eight, he’s finished in the top 10 of 19 of those, and 16 have been in the top five.
  • The season so far has seen an array of drivers gracing the top step of the podium, with 10 different winners from 16 races so far. However, Red Bull Racing Australia is still leading the way for most race wins and pole positions in 2014 with six and seven respectively.
  • Oh and most importantly, don’t forget to wish the one and only Craig Lowndes a very happy 40th birthday on Saturday.

 

 

Red Bull Racing Australia at Hidden Valley

CRAIG JAMIE
Qualifying R1 10th 2nd
Race 1 26th 1st
Qualifying R2 10th 5th
Race 2 3rd 5th
Qualifying R3 2nd 9th
Race 3 1st 19th

 

 

What the Drivers Say

Lowndesy: “Obviously we’re looking forward to it after the long break and it‘s actually the first round this year with the dual combination tyre so it’s going to be very important to get the car setup right.

“I think definitely our qualifying form is better this season, so we’re looking forward to trying to secure Triple Eight’s first pole at Hidden Valley.

“It’s a track I enjoy a lot and have done well at in the past, but qualifying is very important because of the long straights. There are some good passing opportunities, but tyre life is very critical and the temperature is also obviously a big factor. The heat of Darwin is very draining on the drivers.”

J-Dub: “We had a break and I took a week off and went on holidays, so I feel like I’ve recharged the batteries mid-year.

“I think overall we had a great test day. I know everyone’s had a test day, but I feel like we really needed it. We had a good productive day and I’m confident the engineers have filtered through the good data we got and it’ll make us faster in Darwin.

“Time will tell whether we’ve maximised our test day, but I’ve got full confidence they will have. I’m feeling good as well, so I’m looking forward to heading up into the sunshine and trying to improve our performance from the last three rounds.”

 

Drivers Championship Standings

Mark Winterbottom – 1199

Craig Lowndes – 1098

Fabian Coulthard – 1029

Jamie Whincup – 986

James Courtney – 928

Teams Championship Standings

RBRA – 2109

FPR – 2016

BJR – 1813

HRT – 1589

Erebus – 1380