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Live Diary: Bathurst 1000

SUNDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Race 1 –  10th
Championship –  Third (2,872 points)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“I don’t feel like we did much wrong today, we were in the race, sitting pretty until the wheel issue – there’s one story of our day and it’s the wheel falling off. We just did what we could to turn that around – the guys and girls did a great job to get us back onto the lead lap and then back up to 10th. We fought hard and we felt like we did most things right all weekend, I feel like it’s a bit of a cruel game and we deserve more than that but that’s the game we play. From the preparation to coming here and all the way through practice, we made the right calls, and everyone worked exceptionally hard. It’s fantastic for Triple Eight to get the Peter Brock Trophy back to the workshop again. For car one, we thought we deserved a little bit more and it’s disappointing not to end up on the podium. You honestly couldn’t have written that script, with Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) finishing up full-time driving and winning the biggest race of the year. They all did a good job, stayed out of trouble and were there. They didn’t make any mistakes, it’s unbelievable and I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“Everything was going to plan, we were behind the (David) Reynolds car and had an equal pace to them. Then with the safety car we had a pit stop, and something failed on the car so the wheel came off – it’s bizarre to see your wheel passing down the main straight as you’re braking. We managed to get the car back and be two laps down and then still finish 10th, you can’t argue with that. The car was really crook at the end of the day, we did everything we said we’d do all week but it just wasn’t our day. It’s quite incredible the amount of work that the crew did, they were awesome. Full credit to them, and goes to show why we are one of the best teams in pit lane because through adversity we don’t put our heads down and we get on with the job. It was quite incredible to hear all the fans cheering for Craig (Lowndes) with just five laps to go. For them, being eight seconds in the lead, they would have known they had the win for awhile which is awesome for Craig as his last full-time race here at Bathurst.

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Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Race 1 –  Fifth
Championship –  First (3,276 points)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“The race today started alright, we got into second and the car was nice, and I thought the track would come to the car and it sort of did but then it didn’t quite come to. The balance got better but the pace didn’t, so that was a shame. Earl (Bamber) did an awesome job, always passing people smoothly and he had good pace, but we were just too far back. At the end there was no strategy, it was just the same pits and we couldn’t go faster which is a shame. We’ll settle for fifth but I’m super proud of Triple Eight, Craig (Lowndes), Steve (Richards) and the team, that’s really cool.”

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Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“We had a good car all day and we were running up front in the top two. And then we cycled back with a brake change and ended up in 16th. That was good fun because it was the first time that I had to push and take some risk in a Supercar and try to gain some spots. We then got back up to sixth, in a good position to make ground. However, we just stalled in that position and we didn’t have enough to go forward. It’s a mega result with getting in the top five and it’s a great result for Shane with the Championship points. It’s been an honour to come and drive for Red Bull Holden Racing Team this weekend and to drive for such a team in my first ever Bathurst as a rookie was amazing. So thank you for putting your trust in me, to Shane as well. It’s been a great weekend, especially to see Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) next door win. So now let’s roll on to the Gold Coast and win some surf boards.”

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It’s race day! J-Dub starts on the front row in P2… SVG will start immediately behind him in P4. Let’s get ’em!

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SATURDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 6 –  11th (Fastest Time: 2:05.6369)
Top Ten Shootout –  Second (Lap Time: 2:04.0683)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“I got a good lap in the shootout, the engineers did a good job, the car was fast, and I got the most out of it. The boy beside me (David Reynolds) was fast, there’s no other way to look at it. We did the best we could, and we were happy with second today. It’s a long day for us, practice feels like six hours ago and I feel like we’ve met everyone on the mountain, so just trying to get back into racing mode for the shootout was difficult. We are happy we got through our program today. This race is very hard to win, and also very easy to lose.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“We obviously had limited running earlier this week so practice was key to get some more tuning in, which we did. It showed in qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout as we were there or thereabouts. One one-hundredth of a second on a 6.2km lap is nothing – but it’s all good, we have 161 laps tomorrow, so we just need to put our head down and work on tomorrow.

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Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 6 –  Seventh (Fastest Time: 2:05.2423)
Top Ten Shootout –  Fourth (Lap Time: 2:04.5385)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“Our practice this morning wasn’t very good, we tried a whole lot and we were still struggling with the car. We’ve got plenty to analyse tonight but all the tools are there, so I know we’ll be good tomorrow. We made the car better for the shootout and fourth was good, but we just didn’t quite get the front guys – I made a couple of mistakes. We had a good track, we just didn’t quite get it there but it’s not the end of the world.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“Today was good, we had a nice chance to have a look overnight and learn a bit more because yesterday was my first ever lap here in a Supercar. I think we were competitive, we still need to tune up the race car, we’re getting there but we’re not quite as strong as car one. There’s a little bit of work to do tonight but we have a pretty good idea on the direction. It was good that I got some experience with high fuel, low fuel etc, it’s good race prep for me. I’m loving the track it’s so awesome to drive these machines around here, it’s so cool. Then that was about it for me, it was nerve-racking watching a Top Ten Shootout as well and Shane did so well to put it all together and to get us onto the second row of the grid. I can’t wait to get involved in the race, we didn’t have quite enough for pole but it’s still cool. I also did a DVS (Super2 category) race which was wild – I stayed out of trouble and got P10 for Grove (Racing), the best ever result of the season for him. Now, we roll on to tomorrow for the 1000.”

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FRIDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 4 (Co-drivers)  10th (Fastest Time: 2:07.8340)
Practice 5 –  N/A *Elected not to run
Qualifying –  First (Fastest Time: 2:04.1093)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“It was great to finally get on the track in the dry conditions today, it’s been quite tough sitting out during the practice sessions because this is such an awesome track, one of the best bits of road in the world. The real hero from my day was the engineers, they took an educated guess on the dry setup which was bloody difficult, and I feel like our guys and girls did it the best out of anyone. The car is completely different to what it was here last year, so they did well. That was by far the quickest I’ve been around here in a Supercar, so I couldn’t be happier, but I can’t stress enough that it’s still early days. The track was surprisingly quick, I expected it to be a lot more slippery than what it was. The conditions were cool so we had cool track temperature but there was zero rubber out there. I think we were lucky that the DVS (Super2 category) were out there before us so that got the dirt and mud out of the track to give us some grip. We’ve always given ourselves an opportunity in the shootout which is great because starting the race anywhere in the top ten at this track is good and we’ve guaranteed ourselves a good starting position for Sunday.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“I did a few laps in the dry which was good as I was able to get my head around the car and we were happy with the program we ran today. Obviously, Jamie did a phenomenal job in qualifying and whilst it’s great to be in qualifying, our race is what we’re all about so we’ll put our head down overnight and think about Sunday. I will likely do a few laps in practice on Saturday morning because we haven’t been able to do much of that and from then on, it’s thinking about the race, what we need from the race and how we can make the car faster on Sunday afternoon, not necessarily on Sunday morning.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 4 (Co-drivers)  11th (Fastest Time: 2:07.8565)
Practice 5 –  N/A *Elected not to run
Qualifying –  Fourth (Fastest Time: 2:04.3818)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“Qualifying today was alright – we did four runs where we got up to speed but it was very hard to go straight into qualifying with no dry running. However, we built up each run and became quicker and quicker as we progressed. We tried to tune the car a little and were not quite as happy as the other cars, so tomorrow’s practice session is important for us. We’ve made a few shootouts now so that’s pretty good although we’re going into this one a little less prepared than normal. We will have to make the most of tomorrow’s practice, it’s important we work on the race car, give Earl some laps and maybe do some shootout practice so there’s a lot there to get through. The car does feel good, but we just need to keep up with the track because it’s not completely rubbed in due to the rain – from now on the track is only going to get better and better without the rain.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“It was cool to finally do my first dry laps around Bathurst in a V8 Supercar. I think we have a good race car for the weekend, we do need to work on it a little bit but it’s definitely good and that showed in qualifying with all three Triple Eight cars making the Top Ten Shootout. I was happy to get into the sevens (seconds) straight away in my first session, that was cool. We were getting better and better towards the end of practice, so we know it’s possible to go quicker. Hopefully we can now do a bit more race preparation because we haven’t done much of that for a dry race. Tomorrow morning is important. The car was good, there’s good momentum within the team, we just need to keep crossing off the dots, not get too complacent and make sure that we look over everything before the big race on Sunday.”

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

THURSDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 1  10th (Fastest Time: 2:26.6690)
Practice 2 (Co-drivers) –  N/A *Elected not to run
Practice 3   N/A *Elected not to run

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“We had a couple of items on our program that we got through which we were able to tick off in practice one, we didn’t feel we could achieve anymore in practices two or three. It’s great that car no. 97 and the pit stop crew were able to do heaps of pit stop work and ticked off a few items for the team. Now we can prepare for tomorrow, the rain will go away, and we’ll have a nice dry day.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“The team got a lot out of today – Shane (van Gisbergen), Craig (Lowndes), Earl (Bamber) and Richo (Steve Richards) did some laps which is good to get under the belt. However, with the race on Sunday most likely going to be dry, there wasn’t a lot of point to go out and do too many laps, so we did what we needed to. Back inside the garage, we did some brake changes, pit stop practice and driver change practice, so we got all of that stuff out of the way, things which we had planned to do later in the weekend, so it wasn’t a waste of a day. There are more people here than last year and it’s good to know it’s going to be a great day on Sunday so there will be a lot of campers soaking it up.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 1 –  Seventh (Fastest Time: 2:26.3577)
Practice 2 (Co-drivers) –  Third (Fastest Time: 2:35.9013)
Practice 3 –  Fifth (Fastest Time: 2:29.8938)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“The car has rolled out of the truck well and we were able to run through our programs today. The only reason we ran in the rain was to keep the car hot and practise some brake pad and caliper changes. It was helpful for the crew to go through the processes – it was worthwhile running today.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“Our day had a hectic start – I think it’s the earliest I’ve ever arrived for a driver change practice. However, it was good to get going and run through the systems. It helps quite a lot to do the DVS practice to go through the motions and get used to what it’s like out there in the conditions. I managed to do a couple of laps at the end of P1 when Shane had enough driving. It’s great to be back at Bathurst, the track is amazing and it’s cool to be here in a V8 Supercar, I can’t wait to do some dry laps. The co-driver practice session was good, I think we ended up P3, we weren’t trying too much, and we just rolled through the motions to make sure were competitive – I think they wanted to check that I was somewhat competitive around Bathurst – luckily there’s lots of left turns for me. The other cool thing here is all the fans out and about, it’s crazy for a Thursday practice day. The fans are so passionate, attending signing sessions and all of that, so this is a cool part of the sport in Australia.”

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018