Jamie Whincup got his title defence back on track with victory in Sunday’s leg of the first-ever Supercars championship round at the new Tailem Bend circuit.
On a dominant weekend for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, Whincup’s team-mate Shane van Gisbergen left the South Australian circuit with victory on Saturday and a second place on Sunday that elevated him to the championship points lead.
After a weekend when most of the teams struggled to adjust their cars for maximum performance on the brand-new track surface, Whincup praised the efforts of the Red Bull team.
“We need to make sure we had two fast cars,” Whincup said. “I know it’s [a] cliché but full marks to the team. They gave us two rockets and us two Wallys kept it on the track, most of the time.”
Van Gisbergen heads into the three-race endurance season now with a 19-point lead over Ford rival and early championship tearaway Scott McLaughlin.
“There is such a long way to go,” van Gisbergen said. “We need to keep our heads down but credit to the team. We have got to keep focussed but we are in a good spot.”
David Reynolds was third on Sunday, after having endured a dismal previous day in which the Erebus Penrite team was unable to find the optimum suspension setup. They got it right for Sunday, leaving Reynolds to wonder what might have been.
However, he was a lot better off than Shell V-Power Racing, which struggled through the entire weekend. In what was easily this team’s worst round for the year so far, Scott McLaughlin was never a serious threat and left Tailem Bend with sixth and 10th place results - and the loss of his championship lead.
Next round of the Supercars Championship is the Sandown 500 on September 16.