Six-time V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has been left lamenting his lack of pace in Perth after finishing 11th in today’s 200km race and losing the Championship lead to teammate Craig Lowndes.
The Red Bull racer has won five races at Barbagallo Raceway in his career but has had an up and down couple of years here. Third yesterday was an improvement as part of a Triple Eight trifecta, but today he and the crew were left guessing.
"Obviously, it is really disappointing,” Whincup said.
“We just didn't have any pace whatsoever.
“We got a good start, which gave us the best opportunity for a good run, but when you have got no pace there is nothing you can do about it.”
Whincup pitted early on the three-stop strategy to ensure he didn’t stack behind higher placed teammate Shane can Gisbergen, but said his final result was not because of strategy, just not enough speed.
“The strategy was to pit early, just so we didn't stack, but that didn't kill us, we just should have performed much better.
“We are a little confused at the moment as to what's going on, but that's what next week is for.
“I felt that I pushed as hard as I could, I battled as hard as I could, but not qualifying well did make it hard from the get go."
With another podium finish after winning yesterday, Lowndes leads the title race by 42 points.
Teammate van Gisbergen was happier with his run – how could he not be, he said, after achieving his first podium in Perth on Saturday and finishing just shy of the top three today.
“Looking at the graph board, people were doing lots of different things, it looked like a crazy race to keep track of,” van Gisbergen said.
“I enjoyed having a variety of strategies, I had a great car across both races – you have got to be happy to walk away with a third and a fourth.
“The last few years for me at the Barbagallo track hadn't been great, it's not me here, it has been the car, so now I have a good car I can fight it out.”
Next event, the Winton SuperSprint, is one van Gisbergen is looking forward to, as the circuit was resurfaced earlier this year.
“I am looking forward to Winton, it's a new challenge and a new surface.
“We have had one of the fastest cars at every race we have been to, so combined with the new track there, I think we are on to a winner."