Flashback: Last outing at Sydney Motorsport Park

  • 17/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

If you think the Championship leaders separated by 15 points is close - last time the V8 Supercars left Sydney Motorsport Park, it was a mere one-point gap.

Jamie Whincup, who won the second outing of the two-race meeting, reclaimed the lead over Mark Winterbottom on Sunday, in what was Race 19 of 30 in 2012.

Funnily enough, the same two contenders are fighting for the title now, and Craig Lowndes, Shane van Gisbergen, and Fabian Coulthard feature in this year's top 10, as they did in 2012.

Back then, all races staged that year had been won by Triple Eight - then TeamVodafone - and Ford Performance Racing, with Will Davison alongside Winterbottom and also in the Championship race.

Whincup had a shocker on the Saturday in Sydney, battling with a shredded tyre, while Lowndes led the way, and Winterbottom jumped into the Championship lead for the first time that year after finishing second.

However, post-race Winterbottom was wary of both Lowndes and Whincup in his hunt for the Championship.

"We are definitely getting better but Craig is having a run," he said in 2012. "Sometimes you do your best but you just can't beat him. If we can keep a 20-point lead to the end of the year that's all you need to do but Craig is definitely coming.

"It happens every year. You have guys having a good run. You can't count anyone out at these enduros. A lot is going to happen over these next three events after this one. We are not just focused on two cars, there are a lot of cars and drivers to watch out for.

"Both cars are going to be there at the end of the year. You can't focus on one bloke."

Both Dunlop tyre compounds were used on Sunday - as they will be this year - and the clean race was won by Whincup, eight seconds ahead of his teammate.

"It's a matter of minimising all the mistakes all of the time and cutting those margins as fine as you can in pit lane," team boss Roland Dane said after his drivers swept both days races, Lowndes winning on Saturday, though Whincup came home 23rd.

Whincup's comment post race: "I expect it to go right to the last race. I'm sure there will be a few different winners along the way but it all comes down to who is leading on the last lap in the last race."

History repeating?

Will Whincup keep hold of the Championship lead this time around at Sydney Motorsport Park and be on top at the beginning of the Pirtek Enduro Cup?

Find out next week as the V8 Supercars Championship continues. Buy your tickets to the meeting - which includes a True Colour Track Walk on Sunday - here.

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