TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup has completed a clean sweep of the season opening races in the Middle East, winning Race 4 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Bahrain International Circuit today.
The #1 plate holder for the second year running, Whincup took his third pole position for the year but didn't quite get the start he would have liked, slipping back to fifth on the opening lap.
By lap eight of the race the TeamVodafone driver had passed the four front running cars to take the race lead. He strategically controlled the remainder of the 37-lap race and withheld mounting pressure from second placed Mark Winterbottom on his way to securing his fourth consecutive race win for 2010.
"That certainly wasn't my perfect performance," Whincup said. "The start was ordinary; I ran wide and had a wheel lockup which I got away with. Then I stalled coming out of the pit bay which I'm not happy about and will have to go away to have a think about.
"It's just a massive, massive effort from our team and one we are immensely proud of. My preparation for each event is simple; I go out to do the best job I can. Some day's your best isn't good enough some days it is and the last two weekends our best has been better than anyone else.
"I am looking forward to the Clipsal 500 in two weeks time. We will go there having already done these last two races which I think will definitely help us prepare for what will be one of the toughest events of the year," he continued.
Team-mate Craig Lowndes endured an eventful race with a bad start, first turn incident and clutch problem all contributing to his twelfth place finish.
"I got caught out again with my qualifying position and then a bad start put me back in the trouble zone where I had to go around everyone at Turn 1 to avoid an incident," Lowndes said.
"My car balance was good and the first pitstop was great. I was really starting to pick off a few cars in front.
"I started to experience a problem with the clutch just before the second pitstop which got worse as the race went on and made down changing gears extremely difficult," he explained.
The V8 Supercar Championship Series teams will return to Australia tomorrow to begin preparations for the first of the Australian events - the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, which will be held at Adelaide Parklands on March 11 -1 4.
2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series Top Ten Race 4 Results - Bahrain International Circuit
1. Jamie Whincup, 150pts
2. Mark Winterbottom, 138pts
3. Shane Van Gisbergen, 129pts
4. Rick Kelly, 120pts
5. Lee Holdsworth, 111pts
6. Will Davison, 102pts
7. James Courtney, 96pts
8. Jason Richards, 90pts
9. Michael Caruso, 84pts
10.Paul Dumbrell, 78pts
12. Craig Lowndes, 69pts
2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series Points Standings after Race 4 of 26
1. Jamie Whincup, 600pts
2. Mark Winterbottom, 543pts 3. Craig Lowndes, 471pts
4. Shane Van Gisbergen, 447pts
5. James Courtney, 420pts
6. Rick Kelly, 392pts
7. Lee Holdsworth, 372pts
8. Steven Johnson, 296pts
9. Michael Caruso, 294pts
10. Russell Ingall, 270pts