Whincup: TeamVodafone momentum unlikely to last
Jamie Whincup is expecting a close championship battle with Ford Performance Racing until the end of the season, despite today’s Sucrogen Townsville 400 seeing TeamVodafone take a third consecutive race victory.
The result means Whincup has extended his championship lead to a healthy 61 points over Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom.
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While TeamVodafone’s three wins across the Hidden Valley and Townsville weekends have come following a seven-race winless streak, Whincup does not believe his team is on the verge of its own dominant spell.
“We’ve been pushing hard all year and we’ve had a lot of second places as well,” said Whincup when asked of TeamVodafone’s improved competitiveness.
“It’s great to get a few of wins, this is number four for the year (for me) and any year you can win four races you’ve got to be happy.
“But the guys in the FPR garage are throwing out some awesome competition. It’s dog eat dog and I think that will continue right until the end of the year.
“I feel like we have picked up a little bit, but I’m sure they’ll pick up again and we’ll have to go again before the end of the year.”
Qualifying continues to prove an area of advantage for FPR, with Whincup’s latest win coming despite missing out on a front-row start for the fifth consecutive race.
A combination of Winterbottom’s speed and the pit strategies meant that Whincup did not take the lead until just 14 of the 72 laps remained.
“We’ve had a good car all weekend but we just haven’t seemed to get it together in qualifying,” said Whincup.
“That was a great race with Frosty and there was plenty of backmarkers to navigate through so it was great to get the lead.
“It’s a fantastic week here in Townsville win lose or draw but to have a win makes it even more special, it was a good team win this one.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sucrogen Townsville 400 Race Guide
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Race Guide for the British Grand Prix, which is also taking place this weekend