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Crompton predicts Whincup fightback at AGP

Tom Howard

Wednesday 22nd March, 2017 - 4:00am

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Jamie Whincup

Supercars commentator Neil Crompton expects Jamie Whincup to issue a response to Shane van Gisbergen’s blistering early season form at Albert Park this weekend.

Australia’s premier series reconvenes for a non-championship round at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix three-weeks after van Gisbergen’s domination at the Clipsal 500.

While the meeting has no bearing on the championship standings, the four 13 lap races offer a chance for drivers to regain form ahead of the Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint (April 7-9).

Whincup is one driver keen to find his form after a disappointing Clipsal 500 that saw the six-time champion overshadowed by his Triple Eight team-mate.

Having admitted to a few uncharacteristic errors in Adelaide, Crompton believes Whincup will bounce back at Albert Park.

The former driver turned television pundit feels the 34-year-old’s struggles stemmed from a lack of understanding of the new construction Dunlop tyres compared to van Gisbergen.

Last year Whincup and van Gisbergen went head-to-head at Albert Park, with the latter taking three wins to Whincup’s one victory.

“One of the things that is unmistakable if you look carefully into Jamie’s numbers, is that whenever he has a difficult weekend, he almost always bounces back with an extraordinary next innings,” Crompton told Speedcafe.com.

“I fully expect he will bounce back. I didn’t think we saw the best of him in Adelaide for whatever reason.

“I suspect it is a case of understanding how to get the most out of the tyre and perhaps how to get the most out of himself.

“Shane (van Gisbergen) is in a real patch of form at the moment and he is a formidable competitor, which means everybody else has got to bring their best game.

“If you have one little thing off in one area that is what happens.

“It wasn’t just Shane running away with it. It was also an anomaly that he was so far up the road compared to the other Triple Eight guys.”

This weekend’s four races will see the new Dunlop super-soft tyres make their competitive Supercars debut.

The Supercars field will reassemble for a 30 minute practice on Thursday ahead of four 10 minute qualifying sessions to determine the grid for the quartet of sprint races.

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