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Whincup laments Triple Eight's 'worst day of the year'

Supercars
6d
Triple Eight outscored by Tickford, WAU and Penrite Racing in Townsville
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  • Jamie Whincup laments Triple Eight's 'worst day of the year'

  • Will Brown 24th after lap 1 crash, Broc Feeney seventh after incident

  • Triple Eight outscored by Tickford, WAU and Penrite in Townsville

Jamie Whincup has called on Triple Eight to analyse the pace deficit that ultimately led to the team’s “worst day of the year.”

After having at least one driver on the podium in 12 of the first 13 races of the season, Triple Eight nearly had both drivers wiped on lap 1 on Sunday in Townsville.

In a dominant start to 2024, Triple Eight had scored a staggering 88 percent of all points on offer in the first five rounds, with eight wins and five one-two finishes.

Come Sunday, and Will Brown’s championship lead was slashed after he finished 24th following a Turn 3 collision with David Reynolds, while Broc Feeney was nearly taken out at the next corner.

Feeney was sixth as the field approached Turn 4, but dropped to 11th after being escorted into the barriers by Anton De Pasquale. He survived the crash, and recovered to seventh.

After opening up a commanding 920-point teams’ championship lead after Darwin, Triple Eight was outscored by Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Penrite Racing in Townsville, with Chaz Mostert and Cam Waters winning back valuable ground on Brown and Feeney.

Before Sunday’s race, team boss Whincup cited struggles with the tyre batch as the reason behind Triple Eight’s struggles, and reiterated afterwards that the team “just didn’t have the pace."

“We had our worst day of the year, unfortunately, in Supercar land,” Whincup said on the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

“We just didn't have the pace, ultimately. It all goes back to just didn't have the pace. Why we didn't have the pace? That's to really understand, debrief-wise.

“That was story of the day. We just weren't competitive enough."

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The team committed to a two-stop strategy for Feeney, who believed he had a “third or fourth place” car without the lap 1 drama.

“We elected the two-stop strategy. From what I can see, the three-stop was the flavour of the month, and was the go today,” Supercars Hall of Famer Whincup added.

"But high risk though, is you have one Safety Car and you're, you're in trouble. So yeah, as I say, it wasn't our day.”

Whincup admitted the team’s street circuit strengths have fallen away in the Gen3 era, given the team has won five of 16 races since Newcastle 2023, all coming at the hybrid Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

“We've traditionally we've been very strong here in the Gen2 era. But the Gen3 era, it's almost quite the opposite,” Whincup said.

“How we've decided to set the cars up don't actually suit this place anymore. We struggled here last year and we struggled again this year. So, we don't want to do three in a row.

"We'll make sure we do our homework when we go back to the garage to make sure when we come here next year that we don't have such a hard time.”

Brown leads Feeney by 78 points in the drivers’ standings, with Triple Eight 851 points ahead of WAU in the teams’ championship, heading to Sydney.

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