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Live Diary: Auckland 2018

SUNDAY

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Qualifying –  Fourth (Fastest Time: 1:02.7224)
Top Ten Shootout –  First (Fastest Time: 1:02.4719)
Race 2 –  Third
Championship –  Third (3,175 points)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Qualifying –  Third (Fastest Time: 1:02.7197)
Top Ten Shootout –  Third (Fastest Time: 1:02.6060)
Race 2 –  Second
Championship –  Second (3,642 points)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1

“For me, today we didn’t win, we were in a good place but a good result for the team in securing the teams’ championship with one round still to go. Obviously it was great to secure the pole position today, and Shane (van Gisbergen) was right behind me so we were able to put the battle up to the team next door at DJR (Team Penske). We’ll go into Newcastle with a big job on our hands and I’m excited to see how it all transpires. New Zealand has been great – there is a massive level of passion over here which is awesome and we just need to embrace the events that transpired over the weekend. Those shenanigans that go on off the track are just as good as the on track action, which is just fantastic. The day we’re not talking about this sport and the day there is no passion, and no controversy, is the day we have to worry – I think this weekend has been fantastic for the sport. It’s great that we’ve come down to the last round of the year with only a handful of points in the championship – it’s high stress for the drivers, the teams and all the families involved. There’s no need to be negative and getting on your keyboard to have a crack at someone, I think we should embrace all the drama that’s happened this weekend and no doubt it will continue in the next few races to come.”

ITM Auckland SuperSprint event 15 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland. New Zealand. November 4th 2018.

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“This weekend has been one of the coolest experiences for me. Everyone was saying how bad the social media storm was overnight but I didn’t read any of it, I went to bed and then came in this morning and everyone was friendly and cheering for both Scotty (McLaughlin) and I. We had five kiwis in the Top Ten Shootout today as well, I watched the first two of them and saw Andre (Heimgartner) go through and the crowd went nuts, then I even did a little fist bump when Richie (Stanaway) went to the top of the board. The passion here is second to none, it almost rivals Bathurst, it’s so awesome, we need to have a race down in the South Island as well. I was told that the crowd numbers are up 10,000 on last year and I’m happy to contribute to that. The controversy just adds to that, good and bad, I’m happy to be part of it and happy to be in the fight. Scotty (McLaughlin) and I always race super hard and give each other a car width, or a mirror, nothing more. The battles with him are always on edge, but always fair and awesome. I can’t wait to take the fight to him and enjoy the last couple of races. Although, I’m pretty nervous about the championship battle, this is my life and my ambition to win the championship again. I’m more prepared and more experienced than last time. I’ll try to have some good preparation, come back here next week to relax and I’ll just try and enjoy myself.”

ITM Auckland SuperSprint event 15 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland. New Zealand. November 4th 2018.

SATURDAY

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 3 –  Tenth (Fastest Time: 1:10.9146)
Qualifying –  Fifth (Fastest Time: 1:02.9870)
Race 1 –  Fifth

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 3 –  Eighth (Fastest Time: 1:10.7765)
Qualifying  Second (Fastest Time: 1:02.6880)
Race 1  First

Jamie Whincup – Car #1

“After qualifying today, I was just kicking myself that I didn’t have a good run. To be honest, I ate lunch too late and then I didn’t feel comfortable in the car, it’s that three-hour time difference that just messed that up and I made a few mistakes. Then, in the race, we had to stack but hey, stacking is all part of the sport so there are no dramas there. We played the right strategy to stack and fill it up with fuel, which allowed us to come through with a good car and good pace. I think we maximised our position today in P5.”

ITM Auckland SuperSprint event 15 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland. New Zealand. November 3rd 2018.

Photo Credit: VUE Images

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“Qualifying today was tough, the rain came so we couldn’t improve on our second run and the last run was still a bit damp, so we were unsure about the conditions. The car was awesome and thankfully the track dried a little bit at the end there so that we were able to put a lap down and qualify front row beside Scotty (McLaughlin), who was super-fast. The race was good, it was close the whole way and we had some heated battles out there. We managed to get to the front and we had a little gap as we were just trying to conserve everything, then they said we had a five-second penalty and that was a shock, I really had to push it until the end and I was absolutely spent after the race. The home crowd support was just crazy, seeing them cheering for both of us kiwis was awesome. Hopefully we put on a good show and looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.”

2019 Supercars Championship Round 15.
Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe, New Zealand.
Thursday 25th October 2018.
World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz Photographer
Ref: Digital Image DSC_6671.NEF

Photo credit: Daniel Kalisz Photographer

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FRIDAY

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 1 –  Fourth (Fastest Time: 1:03.2371)
Practice 2 –  First (Fastest Time: 1:02.6575)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 1 –  Third (Fastest Time: 1:03.2271)
Practice 2 –  Eighth (Fastest Time: 1:03.0219)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“There was plenty of action around this tight, crazy place in Pukekohe today. We got through our plan, our car went well, and it was a productive day. They’ve done a bit of resurfacing which is nice and it’s safe – the issue about the rain down the back straight like last year has now gone. I think they (DJR Team Penske) would agree it’s not ideal to be in the fence on Friday but in the same way, there’s no points for the Friday ‘grand prix’.”

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Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“It was normal New Zealand weather, sunny but cool. Practice one was pretty good, good to get the feel of the track again. It’s nice to see the work they’ve done on the track since last year. Our car was okay, we made some gains in practice two, then we put some new tyres on the car but we didn’t go as fast as we thought we would. The pace was there, we just didn’t put it together to get a good time. We’ve got another practice session in the morning and then we’ll see how we go from there. Everyone is talking about the rain over the weekend, but I don’t think it will rain when we’re on track. You can quote me on that.”

ITM Auckland SuperSprint event 15 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland. New Zealand. November 2nd 2018.

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