Jamie Whincup believes that he and Triple Eight have ‘a heap of work to do’ despite setting the fastest lap in practice for the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.
Whincup set the fastest lap of the day on his first flying effort in Practice 2 when new tyres were fitted to the #1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore.
At the time, he was well over a second faster than the rest of the field before that margin whittled down to a still healthy 0.2196s by the end of the 40-minute hit-out.
Whincup ended his session with a 1:30.6587s on practice tyres which he described as “good”, and suggested immediately after the session that the loss of pace was down to taking the wrong direction on a set-up tweak.
The performance left the defending champion pessimistic about the true speed of his car.
“Generally I’m saying we were a bit better than what the time sheet was showing but to be honest it was probably the opposite today, not as good as the time sheet shows,” said Whincup.
“I got a good lap in but the car was not as good as I liked and I’m not sure why; we’ve got a heap of work to do tonight.
“We’re probably fourth or fifth quickest at the moment if I read it correctly, so we have some work to do.
“Like always, we will pull all the data from the other cars and see if we can make all three cars go faster.”
In the other Triple Eight entries, Shane van Gisbergen finished eighth-fastest and Craig Lowndes 11th-fastest by virtue of his Practice 1 time.
Van Gisbergen was less concerned about his day despite ending up 0.7709s slower than Whincup.
“We tried a whole lot of different combinations for our set-up and I think we have a pretty good race car,” said the New Zealander.
“There are some fast cars out there so for qualifying I think we need to find a little something extra but I think for the race we should be alright.”
Armor All Qualifying for Race 9 of the championship starts at 1205 local time/AEST.