Treasure Island

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/04/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Jamie Whincup is focused on bouncing back at Phillip Island this weekend, after standing on the podium for all three races at the seaside circuit last year.

While he was disappointed with his ‘rookie mistake’ in what he labelled a shocking Sunday race in Tasmania, Whincup is always looking forward and doesn't dwell on previous results, good or bad. 

The six-time champ was typically hesitant to talk about championship standings – particularly at this time of the season – heading into this weekend's WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint. 

But he did suggest he was lucky not to fall behind the leaders after failing to turn his fourth place qualifying position and speed into a result in the second race at Symmons Plains.

“The points should be good – we certainly got out of jail free there with other cars having dramas,” he told v8supercars.com.

“We’re just focused on our own job and we’re having a few dramas we have to sort out.”

Whincup did not want to elaborate on mechanical issues mentioned in the telecast and reiterated it was up to him to ensure he didn’t make another error at Phillip Island. There was no issue with the equipment, from his point of view.

“I was disappointed with Sunday – it’s always disappointing when you just make an error yourself and let down the team. So personally I came out of the weekend disappointed.

“But team-wise, it’s not all doom and gloom – we had some great car-speed, we did a lot of good things which give us confidence moving forward.”

As the team works on its three-car structure, the Red Bull driver was comfortable with the way things were running behind the scenes, though he believed there was still room for improvement.

“It’s good, it’s all working well,” he said.

“Obviously, everything needs a bit of fine-tuning but it’s no more than fine-tuning. Management is doing a good job, to make sure we’re only maximising the situation and we’re not hampered in any way.

“All three cars have been quick this year – the more information we get the quicker we should get.”

A calendar change means the V8 Supercars return to Phillip Island after just five months, the circuit having hosted the penultimate round in last year’s championship.

With damage sustained after sliding off-track and hitting Heimgartner, Whincup’s car spent a day in the fab shop so the panel damage could be repaired.

He wasn’t complaining about the turnaround, but did note the one-week-on, one-week-off schedule was difficult, particularly for those teams based in Queensland.

“The big story of the year is how much easier it’d be living in Melbourne now, it has been real hard,” Whincup said.

“The first half of the year certainly helps the Melbourne-based crews. But it’s all swings and roundabouts, we should have an easier run on the way home.”

Whincup never relies on history as a form guide, but said the Red Bull team would head to the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint with the same setup as last year.

He and Craig Lowndes shared the podium with Volvo's Scott McLaughlin in all three races, Lowndes winning the first and third race and Whincup the second. 

“There should be little to no change from when we were there last year.

“It’s a fast flowing circuit, very wind dependent like Tassie.

“We’ll just bring our jackets and beanies down – it’s still nice and warm on the Gold Coast.…

“We’ll race hard, there’s no indication the cars won’t be quick round there. We’ll wait and see, maximise Friday and see where we are at in the pack.”

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