Seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup feared he wouldn’t be able to finish the opening leg of the Adelaide 500 due to problems stemming from his Friday crash.
Whincup heavily damaged his new ZB Commodore at Turn 8 during Friday’s qualifying session, with Red Bull Holden Racing Team repairs running through to 4am.
While he got some running in Practice 3 and the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout before the race, Whincup said “mechanical issues reared their head from the crash” in the early stages.
“The car was good, alright in quali, but 10 laps in there was smoke coming in, things started to get a bit hard work,” Whincup, who eventually finished sixth, said.
“The end of the race couldn’t come quick enough. I was just trying to there to the end.
“The steering rack went really stiff, and a lot of smoke [came into] the cabin because it’s not sealed properly because the whole side of the thing’s just been tapped out by a hammer.
“We had a radio issue as well. Things that have copped a few Gs from the crash [which registered at 52G] started to fail as the race went on.
“We’re happy with sixth, to be honest, with everything that went on.”
Asked if he felt he wouldn’t be able to complete the 78 laps, Whincup said: “I did.
“Ten laps in, I thought if things keep deteriorating like this, we won’t make it.
“Unfortunately it’ll be another big night, but I’m confident we’ll get it sorted.”
Reynolds clash not an issue
Five laps after letting van Gisbergen through for what was effectively fourth during the second stint, Whincup went around at Turn 9 after a touch from David Reynolds.
Stewards took no action on the incident, and Whincup downplayed its significance.
“I don’t know what happened with Reynolds, I haven’t spoken to him, but it had nothing to do with our race,” Whincup said.
“We could’ve maybe come fourth or fifth but we had big contact with Reynolds.
“I’m assuming I turned in on him, but I was having my own little battles inside the car so I wasn’t sure.
“I’ve got no opinion on that. Obviously the stewards have seen it and it’s probably my fault.”
Reynolds went on to finish fourth, his best result in Adelaide, as Erebus Motorsport starts its third season with Holdens.
Declaring himself “really stoked” with that outcome, Reynolds felt Whincup might not have seen him at Turn 9.
“I lunged him from a fair way back,” he said.
“I got the move done, I was pretty committed from back there. I think he saw me and gave me enough room, and at the last second he turned very late.
“I thought I was sweet, I thought I was done. I was actually trying to half get out of it because I saw him turning.
“I hate crashing. Maybe he doesn't expect me to do it, because I'm not usually a lunger. But I needed to get the move done then.
“I’m happy they looked at it and reviewed it, and then saw it from both sides.”