TEAMVODAFONE'S WHINCUP & OWEN CLAIM GOLD COAST CROWN
It was a bittersweet day for TeamVodafone in what was the final leg of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 with a triumphant win by Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen while Craig Lowndes and Andy Priaulx finished tenth.
It was another day of carnage on the street circuit but Whincup and Owen, who started the race from the second row of the grid, managed to lead car #1 to victory following three successful pit-stops.
?SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen put pressure on Whincup in the final lapsbut the defending V8 Supercar Champion kept his cool until the chequered flag fell and he claimed his 42nd championship win.
It was all smiles for Whincup who thanked Steve Owen for his incredible performance across the past three endurance events.
"We had a great fight withVan Gisbergen towards the end there but it was all in good fun. That's what competition is all about two competitors going for the win," he stated.
"Steve has done an incrediblejob as my co-driver and I'm really happy to give him a win. This is my home race so today's win was certainly right up there and I was thrilled to be able to give TeamVodafone another victory."
"We have come a long way from yesterday. The car was really slow and we basically had to reinvent the wheel. I'm just happy to get some points back and I have my fingers crossed for the Tassie event," he added.
Team-mate Steve Owen, who celebrated his first championship win today, was thrilled with the result and said he was looking forward to his future.
"We probably should have won at Phillip Island but unfortunately we didn't. We also lost out on the lead at Bathurst, so today's win was extremely rewarding," he stated.
"This weekend has been a really difficult one and we worked hard into last night to improve the car and managed to turn it around for today.
"It's been a pleasure to drive for TeamVodafone, who I believe are the best team. I'm not sure what the future hold for me but I'm looking forward to it," he said.
It was an unfortunate turn of events for Lowndes and Priaulx, who started the race on the sixth row of the grid, with their pit strategy not quite going to plan.
Lowndes said he was disappointed with the result but was pleased to gain valuable championship points.
"It was a disappointing finish for us. The rear tyre life wasn't as good as we had hoped and I struggled at the end with the car's rear grip," Lowndes said.
"We are still happy in a sense that we picked up valuable championship points and that we came out with a straight car. Now we're focussed on the next round of the championship which will be in Tassie in three weeks," he stated.
International pilot, Andy Priaulx was pleased to receive the International Driver's Trophy which he was awarded with for most accumulated points across the weekend.
The British driver said he had enjoyed his time with TeamVodafone and was happy to give Lowndes points towards the championship.
"I am really pleased to have been involved in this and I feel like I did the best I could do," Priaulx said.
"The race didn't turn out quite the way we had planned but TeamVodafone still got a win, which is the main thing. I wish we got a better result but that's racing," he added.
The Falken Tasmania Challenge will take place on November 12-14. For the latest news and updates on TeamVodafone, visitwww.teamvodafone.com.au.
V8 Supercars Race 20 Results Armor all Gold Coast 600
1.Jamie Whincup/ Steve Owen, 1:13:3597secs
2.Shane van Gisbergen/ John McIntyre, 1:13:1599secs
3.Falcon Mark Winterbottom /Luke Youlden, 1:13:2118secs
4.James Courtney/ Warren Luff, 1:13:1332secs
5.Paul Dumbrell, 1:13:4957secs
6.Rick Kelly/ Owen Kelly, 1:13:6739secs
7.Will Davison, 1:13:7689secs
8.Russell Ingall/ Jack Perkins, 1:13:7394secs
9.Lee Holdsworth/ Greg Ritter, 1:13:3611secs
10. Craig Lowndes/ Andy Priaulx, 1:13:7294secs
V8 Supercars Championship points after Race 20 - Armor All Gold Coast
1. James Courtney, 2521pnts
2. Jamie Whincup, 2450pnts
3. Craig Lowndes, 2255pnts
4. Mark Winterbottom, 2201pnts
5. Garth Tander, 2088pnts
6. Shane van Gisbergen, 2040pnts
7. Rick Kelly, 1853pnts
8. Lee Holdsworth, 1763pnts
9. Michael Caruso, 1706pnts
10. Paul Dumbrell, 1590pnts
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