Triple Eight team owner Roland Dane says the #88 side of the garage needs to take a long hard look at itself following one of Jamie Whincup’s toughest ever rounds.
The factory Holden team unusually struggled for pace throughout the Phillip Island weekend with Whincup suffering the most from a lack of car speed at the Victorian circuit.
After qualifying a lowly 17th on Saturday, the seven-time champion retired from Race 9 after losing his right front wheel as a result of a pit stop mix up.
The team found improvements on Sunday that helped Whincup secure 10th on the grid having been forced to progress through all three parts of qualifying.
While team-mate Shane van Gisbergen came home in seventh as the second best Holden behind third placed Anton De Pasquale, Whincup went backwards in the race, eventually finishing in 12th position.
Dane offered a frank assessment of his team’s showing and in particular actions of the team surrounding the Whincup car.
“It was a pretty unremarkable day. I think Shane had a reasonable car; I think we could have run at the pace pretty much of Anton, but we didn’t qualify well enough, nor start well enough,“ Dane told Speedcafe.com.
“At the end of the day we probably finished where we deserved to with Shane. Jamie just wasn’t fast enough, he didn’t have car pace; he didn’t have it yesterday, he didn’t have it today (Sunday).
“That side of the garage needs a long hard look at itself. We spent too much time chasing gold when gold wasn’t achievable for anyone apart from one team this weekend.
“We probably didn’t do a good enough job. We’ll go away and make sure we do a better job next time.
“This is what most teams have every week, right? It’s just unusual for us to have a poor weekend to this extent. Every so often it will happen.”
Having dropped to ninth in the championship standings, Whincup expects plenty of questions to be asked to uncover the reasons for the lack of speed at the team’s debrief this week.
“We had a plan but unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your plans are, if you’re off track you must change your plan to get back on track,” said Whincup.
“It’s been one of the toughest weekends that we’ve done.
“Sometimes you are struck with bad luck and you don’t quite get the result you want but what this weekend proved is that it’s all about pace.
“If you don’t have pace, then you aren’t having any fun out there, especially when you’ve had that pace.
“There will be plenty of questions asked next week without a doubt and we’re not going to hide behind them.
“We need to have an honest debrief when we get back to the workshop on Tuesday afternoon and nut out exactly why we are in this position.”
Dane remains hopeful his squad will bounce back at the Pirtek Perth SuperNight next month.
“I’d hope so. We’ve been the most successful team over the last 20 years, so I hope we will bounce back from this,” he added.
Supercars will head west for Round 5 from May 2-4.