Vibrations left Whincup ‘wounded’ in Race 19

Jamie Whincup at the Reid Park Street Circuit

Vibrations that were unable to be fixed prior to the final race of the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint condemned Jamie Whincup to an underwhelming end to the North Queensland double-header.

Whincup led plenty of laps across the two Townsville events but will return to the Gold Coast empty-handed as far as race wins go, with Shane van Gisbergen (three) and Cameron Waters (two) accounting for all five first-place trophies.

The #88 Red Bull Ampol Racing driver had looked well-placed to get the better of his on-song team-mate in Race 18 earlier today, only for some rugged van Gisbergen defence to quash those hopes.

Whincup soon after that race noted he “wouldn’t be surprised if something in my car is bent”.

Although unsure of the cause, his belief that the problem began before making his compulsory pit stop would suggest contact with van Gisbergen was not the source.

The team was unable to resolve the issue in time for the last 39-lap race of the weekend, resulting in a circumspect run to sixth.

“I suffered a bit of a vibrating front-end and I was locking wheels which caused me to have a few issues in [Race 18] which cost me performance in the end, and unfortunately, we didn’t fix it before Race 3 [19], so I was pretty wounded,” said Whincup.

“I qualified sixth for the race and got a poor start off the line.

“On grid six, you line up on a white line and I thought I was going to be okay, but clearly, I wasn’t.

“To be honest, it was a really disappointing end to what was a fantastic fortnight for Red Bull Ampol Racing up here in Townsville.”

All in all, Whincup took three second-place finishes across the two weekends in Townsville – and it could have been four, but for a 15-second penalty for speeding in pit lane demoting him to fifth in Race 17 yesterday.

The 38-year-old continues to hold second in the championship, albeit 276 points behind van Gisbergen.

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s test track, Queensland Raceway, is in line to host Round 8 of the Repco Supercars Championship on August 21-22.

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