ANOTHER NEW ZEALAND WIN FOR WHINCUP
It was an all-Holden dias today with TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup topping the podium again to wrap up an eventful final day of racing at the ITM Hamilton 400.
After a slower than desired start behind Garth Tander, Whincup used the safety car on lap 3 as an opportunity to regroup. The restart two laps later allowed Whincup to launch his assault on Tander, overtaking on lap 10 for the lead.
Leading Tander by a staggering 8.5 seconds on lap 31, Whincup led the way for 50 of the 59 laps, which was the foundation for a great TeamVodafone win. Whincup's performance this weekend ensures he retains the championship lead as well as reinforcing TeamVodafone's stronghold on the teams championship.
Whincup describes how it feels to have his 39th career win under his belt.
"The car was pretty much perfect today. We had to keep our focus right to the very last lap but it was definitely a rocket ship.
"This is a great race, it's a great event and obviously I'm biased from the success over the past two years, but nevertheless I am heading home a very happy man tonight.
"Overall, the team doesn't have any huge strengths of note but it's our lack of weaknesses that are making the difference this early in the season," he said.
Teammate Craig Lowndes was feeling positive and prepared after yesterday's performance and qualified fifth fastest, but victory was not to be today.
After spinning off on lap 25 the car stalled, dropping Lowndes to 18th place where he was forced to pit due to brake issues, a setback from which he struggled to overcome.
"I'm disappointed that we didn't get the result that we probably deserved today. The changes that were made overnight really suited the conditions today and the car was a dream to drive.
"I experienced brake fade right from the start and obviously lost touch while the guys made the repairs.
"Overall I have a very strong car and walking away from this weekend with some solid points makes it far better than last year," Lowndes said.
Today's victory marks Holden's ninth win in 10 years of New Zealand V8 rounds.
TeamVodafone will head home to prepare for the City of Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway on 30 April to 2 May.
Top Ten V8 Supercar Driver Championship Standings after Race 8 of 26 ITM 400 Hamilton
Van Gisbergen 720pts
R Kelly 716pts
S Johnson 668pts
V8 Supercar Teams Championship Series