Fujitsu rookie McConville gets Winton trophy

Cameron McConville accepts the Fujitsu V8 trophy at at WInton Motor Raceway

Cameron McConville accepts the Fujitsu V8 trophy at at WInton Motor Raceway

Cameron McConville hasn’t been called a rookie for a while, but on his Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series debut at Winton, he was almost flawless.

McConville, who recently retired from full-time V8 driving and will drive with the Toll Holden Racing Team in the endurance races, won two of the three races over the weekend.

While he was a Fujitsu rookie this weekend, history tells us that ‘McConky’ has won a V8 race at Winton before. In 2004, McConville passed Rick Kelly on the second last corner of the race to win – his one and only Championship Series round win.

Driving the JAX Quickfit Tyres Commodore VE, McConville’s only non-win was a second place in the reverse top 10 Race 2. Only David Russell in the Sunday morning race prevented a clean sweet.

McConville’s win in Race 3 secured the overall round win from series leader Steve Owen and Fujitsu Series rookie Nick Percat.

“I came here not planning to win. I had no pre-conceived ideas of where we were going to finish, the plan was to come up, do some miles, keep the nose clean and get back into the groove,” he said.

“After I got in to Garth Tander’s car at Queensland Raceway, I thought ‘have I done this ever before?’ I felt like a complete duck out of water so it went from there really. We spoke to Ben (Eggleston, car owner) and I got on to the head of JAX Quickfit and rattled the tin a little bit.

“You can test until the cows come home but there’s only one or two test days left until the enduros and it’s just nice to get out there on a good tyre, get into qualifying trim and get into the heat of the battle of race starts.

“I felt really comfortable out there. It’s a track that I’ve done a million miles at. The car was realistically as good as any VE I’ve driven around here and it made the job a lot easier.”

Owen extended his points advantage with second for the round. The Greg Murphy Racing driver finished second in yesterday’s opening race before racing home to fourth and second in Race 2 and Race 3, respectively.

Originally, Owen was competing in the Fujitsu Series on a round-by-round basis, but the TeamVodafone endurance driver confirmed that it is “looking positive” for him to compete in the remainder of the series, aiming to win his second crown (adding to his 2008 title).

“At this stage it’s looking positive,” he said.

“I’ve got another sponsor on the car this weekend in Tricor, as long as the car keeps coming back straight and we don’t end up blowing motors up or having big shunts, I think we should be able to get there. If it goes for a couple more rounds it’s going to be hard for those guys to not do the rest of the year.”

Young Holden gun Nick Percat finished third for the round – his best series result – and now sits second in the Fujitsu Series standings. The Walkinshaw Performance-backed racer finished sixth, fourth and third in the round’s three races, landing him third for the round – his best round result in his short V8 Supercar career.

“I’ve got nothing to complain about at the moment,” said Percat.

“We’ve had a pretty consistent year, finishing every race, staying out of trouble and getting the most amount of miles that we possibly can in every session so I can learn how to drive a V8 Supercar.

“I moved up to second in the Championship – never thought I’d get this high, didn’t think I’d get on the podium in Round 3 and it just comes down to being consistent.”

The Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series rolls on to the Sucrogen Townsville 400 (July 9-11) for Round 4. Highlights of the Winton round will be shown on the Seven Network this Saturday (check your local guides).

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