It was Sunday spoils for Jamie Whincup and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, finishing third in this afternoon’s 200km feature race at the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint.
After qualifying on the second row of the grid for Race 14 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Whincup was able to find some mid-race pace and undercut David Reynold’s Penrite Racing Holden, handing him a podium at his 220th round start this weekend.
“That was good fun, good fun,” said Whincup.
“The Erebus crew pushed us hard, we probably didn’t stop at the right time, the first time, so lucky we had a bit of pace in the middle there and got a second chance [to pass],”
“Like I said before the race, a podium was the best we could do today, so we’re very, very happy.”
After spraying the champagne in Saturday’s 120km race, Penrite Racing driver Reynolds also started Sunday’s race from the second row and moved up one position to third thanks to an ill-timed stop by Whincup.
Reacting to the undercut attempt of Whincup, Reynolds followed the lead of the #88 Commodore and pitted the following lap, only to be overtaken by the seven-time champ on warmer tyres on the lap that followed.
After struggling for car set-up in qualifying, Shane van Gisbergen took advantage of a late safety car to carve up the opposition on fresher tyres, moving up six positions to finish in 7th place behind the wheel of his Red Bull Holden.
“It was a fun race but I just wasn’t far enough in the front of the pack,” said van Gisbergen
“For ourselves, we need to keep doing our best so we can be the best Holden team out on the track,”
“Keep finishing top five and earning points so we have a chance at the end of the season.”
Scott Pye continued a strong weekend for the MEGA Racing outfit, collecting a pair of top-ten finishes and coming home in 8th in the #2 Commodore.
Strategy let down Brad Jones Racing driver Nick Percat, surrendering multiple positions for new tyres when the safety car came out, but not having enough laps left to take full advantage of the fresh rubber, finishing in 9th position at the chequered flag.
One of the most energetic race starts of the season at Winton Raceway on Saturday saw Shell V-Power Racing teammates take each other off the road and James Courtney arise the leader from the second row of the grid as they crossed the line after lap 1.
David Reynolds eventually moved the #22 of Courtney out of the way with some old school British touring car moves the next lap and was handed a 5-second penalty mid-race for the move, still finishing the lead Holden in third by the end of Saturday’s race.
“First Winton podium, woohooooo. Under heaps of pressure there at the end having a good battle,” said Reynolds.
“My car wasn’t too bad, I think the track was pretty ordinary then, I had heaps of understeer and it just didn’t feel good, but stoked,”
“Really happy with the Penrite Racing crew, another podium, good times.”
Courtney after the incident was able to regather and convert the positive qualifying position finishing the 120km race in fourth, the best finish for the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver this season.
Red Bull Holden Racing teammates Whincup and van Gisbergen were able to turn around average qualifying positions with Whincup pitting early and undercutting the field while van Gisbergen ran long, making a late pass on the #88 and finishing in 5th and 6th respectively.
Seven Holden Commodores finished inside the top-ten in Saturday afternoon’s race, with Percat able to continue his lengthy string of top-ten finishes, moving up ten spots and securing a seventh place, with IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom ninth and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Scott Pye 10th.
Earlier in the day, Supercars main game drivers were joined by their enduro counterparts in what is dubbed the co-driver cup, a 30-minute practice session that Red Bull Holden Racing team took out 1-2 honours with Craig Lowndes finishing on top ahead of Garth Tander.
Round 7 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship takes crews right up to the heart of the tropics for the Bet Easy Darwin Triple Crown, June 14-16.