RED BULL RACING AUSTRALIA TAKES BOTH WINS AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have both taken home a win at Sunday's Phillip Island round
... and also scored a third and second respectively to dominate the weekend’s podium.
The Red Bull Racing Australia duo takes first and second on the ladder in to the final round of the V8 Supercars championship, the Sydney 500, with Whincup 20 points ahead of Lowndes.
Lowndes took out the first of Sunday's two Phillip Island races with a seven position gain from a start on the fourth row of the grid. Craig's ninth win at Phillip Island ismore than any other active driver and equal only to Mark Skaife's victories at the circuit.
After rounding out the top-four battle pack in the first half with teammate Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert, Lowndes found his pace and a safety car on lap 14 was only to his benefit.
"The safety car helped me enormously," Lowndes said.
"With the restart the car remained good and we pushed on and we were able to find our way past Jamie which gave us some room and from that point we did some consistent laps which was luckily good enough for the win."
Meanwhile teammate Whincup also managed to negotiate his VF Commodore from a start at four to a final second position.
"I knew Craig was quick, that's why I bolted off the grid and went as fast as I could," Whincup said.
"I heard Craig was in second and thought at the time I was in for a pretty good shot but true to my good old Phillip Island bad luck, we had a safety car and at the end of the day the quickest car won and that's what it's all about."
Whincup reigned victorious in the second of two races at Sunday's Phillip Island circuit also scoring a new lap record of1min32.02 in his first win at the track since 2009. The call of two safety cars kept the top four, Whincup, Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright, bunched tightly together, raising the intensity and pressure for a classic Holden and Ford battle.
"There was certainly no breathing space in that race," Whincup said.
"We had struggled for pace from the start of this weekend so a big congratulations to my engineering team, it ended up as an awesome battle.
"It's certainly been a crazy weekend in many ways and a good preview of what's to come at the Sydney 500."
Meanwhile, teammate Craig Lowndes also scored himself a podium finish in third place collecting the all-important points heading in to Sydney 500 as the championship battle reaches an all-time high.
"Jamie had a good car this afternoon and we didn't have the pace to match it," Lowndes said.
"The final battle for the championship was always going to come down to Sydney but regardless it was nice to take home the points that we did but it will be a tough battle as always.
"In Sydney, Jamie and I will work as a team as we always have and it will come down to who will get the best out of the day."
The final and championship deciding round of the V8 Supercars, Sydney 500, takes place 6 8 December.