Jamie Whincup has revealed that he rolled an ankle before ‘getting out of gaol’ by taking pole for Supercars Championship Race 4 at Albert Park after hitting the wall.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver did so with a sore ankle, which he rolled on his way to the morning’s drivers’ briefing.
“I just rolled it,” said Whincup after Qualifying for Race 4.
“I was running late for drivers’ briefing and came out of the truck and rolled it.
“It’s pretty bad, actually, but I was happy to get through today and then we’ll give it some treatment tomorrow.”
Whincup qualified second to team-mate Shane van Gisbergen for Race 3, making sizeable contact with the wall exiting Turn 10 during his only hot lap.
With only 10 minutes between the two sessions under the unique format for the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the hit had the potential to derail Whincup’s hopes for both of the first two races of the event, for which 75 points are on offer to the winner in each.
As it turns out, the four-time Albert Park race winner was able to complete his lap with what was only a bent rim.
“I was concerned turning into the next corner that I had damage – I didn’t know whether the tyre was down or there was damage – but it turned in, it hooked up alright, so I got through the lap,” he recalled.
“I had massive vibration after that, so I was praying it was just a rim, which it was.
“We put the second set of tyres on it for Q2 and the car was nice and straight; happy days. Small get out of gaol free card after that one.”
Qualifying sessions for Races 5 and 6 take place tomorrow from 10:10 and 10:30 local time/AEDT, before Race 3 of the season at 13:50.