Whincup laments ‘no pace’ during practice
A typically frank Jamie Whincup has lamented a lack of pace in his Red Bull Holden during Friday practice at Winton.
The six-time champion was just 20th in the afternoon session, a full second adrift of Prodrive’s pace-setter Chaz Mostert.
While Red Bull is often down the order as it runs methodically through its practice program, Whincup is making no excuses for the performance today.
It follows a difficult weekend for Whincup on the hard tyres at Barbagallo and comes at a circuit where Red Bull is yet to score a podium since the Car of the Future rules were introduced in 2013.
“Today didn’t go very well at all,” said Whincup.
“We just have no pace, which has continued on from Perth.
“We seemed to be on track during the session, then we put our set of green tyres on and we were almost last, so I don’t know.
“It’s not really making sense at the moment, so we’ll keep doing what we do and working hard to fix it, but if you don’t have any pace, you can’t do anything.
“We’ve come here with a fresh sheet of paper and we didn’t really look at last year’s results because they were so bad.
“But if that’s our highlight, then we’re in for a tough weekend and we need to do something – we just need to work out what it is.”
Team-mate Craig Lowndes also admitted that there is significant work to do after ending up 10th, but is optimistic that the team can turn it around.
“I think we had good balance on our used tyres, (but) when we put our new tyres on it sort of imbalanced the car a little bit,” he said.
“We’re struggling with a lack of front tyre grip, which is what you need around here for a good lap time, so we’ve got something to work at.
“I think the beauty about today is that we know where we are now in relation to everyone else in car speed with the tyre life that we’ve got.
“I’m not too disappointed, the car was flowing really well and Grant and I have made a number of changes.
“We’ll sit down tonight and prepare for tomorrow, but I’m still confident that we can make a decent car out of what we’ve done.”