Hidden Valley: TeamVodafone Saturday notes

Whincup wins at elusive Hidden Valley circuit It was the only circuit that had so far failed to yield a podium for TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup, that was until today, when the championship leader won the ninth race of the 2009 V8 ...

Hidden Valley: TeamVodafone Saturday notes

Whincup wins at elusive Hidden Valley circuit

It was the only circuit that had so far failed to yield a podium for TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup, that was until today, when the championship leader won the ninth race of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway.

Whincup qualified second but a good start saw him take an immediate lead in the 35 lap race. Like most around him, Whincup started on the soft compound Dunlop tyre option and after 15 laps he pit for fuel and a full set of the standard control tyres.

At the conclusion of the compulsory pitstops Whincup was once again controlling the race, the TeamVodafone driver eventually beating rival Mark Winterbottom to the chequered flag by over 14 seconds.

"I had a good clean race," Whincup explained. "I got off the line well at the start and the team gave me a great pitstop on Lap 15."

"It is going to be an interesting decision on tyres as I have used up my rears and will only have the front soft's to consider for tomorrow's race." Luckily today was my day but I think we have all got our work cut out for ourselves tomorrow, it will be a long hot afternoon in the car," he said.

Acknowledging this was a circuit that had eluded him until now Whincup suggested it was his indigenous themed helmet that had provided some additional luck.

"I must admit this has been the one track that I have not been on the podium at before today," he said. "The helmet must be bringing me a bit of luck." Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes are both sporting one-off helmets hand painted by renowned Aboriginal artist Raymond Walters Japanangka which will be auctioned on teamvodafone.com following the event to raise money for the indigenous charity Red Dust Role Models

Craig Lowndes didn't quite get the birthday gift he was hoping for finishing sixth in today's race. The 35 year old is confident of a good run tomorrow with his soft compound set only five laps old following today's race.

"I bogged down a bit at the start and lost a spot, but all0in-all I had a pretty reasonable race," Lowndes said.

"The car balance on the soft tyres was really good but we opted to pit early which gave me clear air and little congestion."

"I had some good consistent laps then battled towards the end with Jason Richards and Todd Kelly. With only completing five laps on the soft tyres we are in good shape for tomorrows longer race." Lowndes commented. The V8 Supercars will be back on track at Darwins Hidden Valley Raceway tomorrow with qualifying for Race 10 of the series set for 11.00am (ACST) and the 69-lap showdown to get underway at 2.35pm (ACST).

-credit: tv

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