While Red Bull Racing Australia sprung back to the top, showing the field who the form team is heading into the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, team boss Roland Dane's view was they did a less than perfect job at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
“We were just the team that made fewer mistakes than the others,” he said.
“We can’t say we did a perfect job because we didn’t. We just did a less imperfect job than everyone else.”
However, Dane – who, along with his crew, celebrated 10 years of Triple Eight Race Engineering at Sandown – admitted it was a satisfying result and praised Jamie Whincup’s efforts after the pit lane penalty that made the day that little bit harder.
“Whether Jamie could get back after the drive-through? I was confident he could get a good place, but did I think he could win from there? No. And there were no Safety Cars to help him.
“So to drive from 25th to first as he did was an exceptional effort. We had inherent car speed all weekend.”
Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes once again sit first and second in the Championship points, meaning both (with co-drivers Paul Dumbrell and Warren Luff) are also leading the race for the first ever PIRTEK Enduro Cup, to be awarded after the third endurance event, the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600.
While there had been an eruption of criticism in the media about Ford Performance Racing’s pit lane performance, which meant stacking the #6 Pepsi Max car behind the already disadvantaged #5, RBRA’s pit stops were not faultless either.
However, Dane knew stacking the #888 car behind #1 in would not affect the outcome of Lowndes’ and Luff’s race.
“The Craig stacking early on, that was never going to have an effect on his result over such a long race and with safety cars and what nots,” he said.
“We knew that was a possibility with how close the two qualified and we covered that risk off at the time as best we could. I knew that in itself wouldn’t affect the outcome of the race. That’s the nature of the business sometimes.”
Red Bull Racing Australia tested on Thursday at home track Queensland Raceway to prepare for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – Dane mentioned componentry, set-up and gear ratios as three of the focuses prior, and the team also completed several lots of pit stop practice.
“We’ve had several debriefs since Sandown and we’re planning on going to Bathurst with two evenly matched cars prepared as best as they possibly could be,” Dane said.