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Live Diary: Bathurst

Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Race Fourth
ChampionshipFifth (2,380 points)


Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“Today it was just not our day.  We did what we could out there on track but there was a lot going on.  At one stage we were leading the race but as everyone knows this is Bathurst and anything can happen over the 1000km.  We had a great three days leading up to the race and worked hard as a team.  Unfortunately, we gave it all we had but it just didn’t happen.”


Craig Lowndes – Car #888

It was a crazy race and hopefully we contributed our part as co-drivers.  We led the race for a little moment, and it could have been vastly different if there were less safety cars but as I said it was a crazy day.  We were in there with a fighting shot.  Jamie did an amazing job over the last three days with qualifying, Top Ten Shootout and more than a triple stint to the finish in the race.  Finishing fourth, yes a little disappointing but we will take that and move on to Gold Coast.”


Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Race Second
ChampionshipSecond (2,686 points)


Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“Unfortunately, today we just didn’t get there in the end.  In the final restart I knew I was going to have a go and try to keep as much temperature in the car as possible but at the same time save fuel.  We got through the first two corners but saw that Scott (McLaughlin) had more grip.  It was tough but I thought we may have had a chance as he started to save more and more fuel I was hitting better than the number I was given so I knew I had a few more on the last couple of laps but what could have been.  We certainly did get knocked down a few times today; in the pits and then working back through the pack and got held up during the safety car by someone.  It’s pretty obvious what happened but we still would have had to fight it out with Jamie and Scott which would have been awesome and possibly closer but we were stuck behind traffic and more cars, but it is what it is.”


Garth Tander – Car #97

“It seemed to go fairly well but it would have been nicer being one step further up on the podium.  I was really happy with my performance and stints in the car today.  The team has been fantastic welcoming me into the organisation. I’ve felt like the new bloke all year sharing with Shane, Jamie and Craig who have been part of Triple Eight for so long, but they have all been fantastic integrating me into everything. In regard to today and the way the race played out there was no hiccups, no snags at all; it all went fairly smoothly it’s just that we fell short in the end and will try again next year.”


1130:  The. Great. Race. 2019 edition.

0930:  Driver Parade next with some smiles and waves before we get serious.

0845:  Probably the fastest 20 minutes ever!

JDub/CL – P5 02:05.4969

SVG/GT – P4 02:05.4166



0820:  Time for warm up.

0630:  The big day is here – Happy Bathurst Day!


Sunday 13 October


Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 6 – 20th (Fastest Time: 02:06.3437)
Practice 7 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:04.0849)
Top Ten Shootout – Fourth (Lap Time: 2:03.9505)


Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“We are happy with today as we maximised what we could.  Being on the second row of the grid is a good spot to start the great race.  At this stage, unfortunately we don’t have the pace of the other cars out on the track, but I feel like the engineers have done a really good job to get us here.  It’s now about working with what we have to maximise the balance across the car.  As a team we can’t have any weaknesses tomorrow.  Everyone has to perform at a high level across the whole team to have any chance tomorrow and I feel if every single person does that then we are in for a show.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“It’s a great effort from Jamie to get into the top 10 yesterday in the difficult conditions and then today to be able to improve the car over the short two half-hour practice sessions.  The car feels really nice for me as a race car.  Jamie did a good job today in the shootout.  There’s always a great amount of pressure for any driver to be put under in those circumstances.  We now know that we will be starting in fourth tomorrow so it’s a credit to him and the team.  It’s going to be a long day tomorrow but we are starting on the second row and I couldn’t be happier.”

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 6 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:05.1821)
Practice 7 – Fourth (Fastest Time: 02:04.0046)
Top Ten Shootout – Fifth (Lap Time: 02:04.1136)


Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“It wasn’t the greatest lap to have for the Top Ten Shootout.  I probably could have given it a little more.  Having said that, fifth position isn’t a bad place to start the race.  We have a straight and fast car so it should be all fine for tomorrow.  Unfortunately, practice wasn’t very good for us out there on track earlier in the day.  We were happy yesterday but when the rain came the track was washed out and went back to being clean so possibly hurt us a little.  We aren’t too worried about it though.  Most likely we will go back to yesterday’s setup and hope that the track will work with us.  I haven’t had any thoughts about tomorrow just yet so we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“It was a good day for me and the team.  Both cars were in the top 10 and now both cars are starting the race in the top five.  For car 97, in this morning’s practice we had a good run.  For me in particular, I felt comfortable in the car on light fuel and old tyres and then full fuel and newer tyres.  The practice session strategy was for me to get a read of how the car could potentially behave in the race.  I’m happy with how the car felt and progress we have so made so definitely looking forward for tomorrow.”


1830:  The day is done and it’s a P4 and P5 line up on the grid for tomorrow.  Being up front is exactly what we need but who knows what tomorrow will bring and who the mountain will choose.




Talk about cutting it close!  Not sure how much closer anyone can get to that wall by shaking their tail feather!




1700:  It’s shoot out time and for this it’s just better if we show you how it all went down (no not down hill at all… check out the clips above).



1430:  Thanks to Holden and Red Bull we were able to trek out and around the campsite on Mount Panorama.  Thanks to all the fans who come out to see the Supercars out on track.  Whether it’s your first Bathurst or your 50th we couldn’t go out racing with you!





JDub/CL – P6 — 02:04.0849

SVG/GT – P4 — 2:04.0046


1210:  Number seven.  Here we go one final time.  Co-drivers aren’t wearing their race suits so it looks like its all been left in the capable hands of JDub and SVG.

1130:  But before we do… here’s part of the Team Owner’s media conference in case you missed it – should we take up the offer?



1100:  Not much time in between sessions as they have been sliced in half and we now have two session instead of the usual 60 mins.  Back on track in an hour.


JDub/CL – P20 — 02:06.3437

SVG/GT – P6 — 02:05.3016



0955:  And now it’s the JDub’s turn.



0950:  Speaking of changes.

0940:  Looks like  it will be a jam packed practice session with pit spots and driver changes.


0940:  Co-drivers have jumped into the car which can only mean one thing…

0645:  Another early start as we head into the final day of practice and the all important top ten shootout.


Saturday 12 October


Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 4 (Co-Drivers) – 14th (Fastest Time: 02:05.9218)
Practice 5 – 17th (Fastest Time: 02:04.9580)
Qualifying – Seventh (Fastest Time: 02:29.6973) *Wet*


Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“High stress day! Obviously, practice wasn’t ideal, I was just caught up in somebody else’s crash. I felt I did the best I could there. If I had hit him (Richie Stanaway) it would have been a catastrophe. I slapped the wall reasonably hard, but side on, and it sort of distributed the impact in the front left. I slapped the rear right, but nothing major. It was still a lot of work, but all bolt-on parts and nothing majorly structural. Everything was all back to normal in the car for qualifying, but we were genuinely P20 out of the pits. The car was so on edge, I scared myself 15, 16 times just trying to keep it on the black stuff. We just persisted and chipped away to somehow get to P12 or 13 with one lap to go and just got into the top 10. While we’re not celebrating, we’re happy that we’re in the top 10, but Jesus, it took stupid amount of risk to finish P7 today. Not that I’m saying it should be easy, it’s bloody tough and competitive, but we had to hang way too much on the line there just to get in the 10. I think the shootout is going to be wet.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“My practice session was dry this morning, so it was great to have another session of dry running. I felt more comfortable in the car after doing more laps. We did several changes which gave us a direction. For me, the car is nice across the top of the mountain which always inspires confidence as a driver, but we need to find a little bit more drive off the slow-speed corners like the last corner and turn one. Overall, I was happy with where we ended up. The stress levels in the garage were pretty high during qualifying. When you’re behind the steering wheel you’ve sort of got a feel and you know where you’re at, but when you’re in the garage you can only go by Jamie’s voice over the radio. He was quite calm, I’ve got to give him that, but knowing we were sat in P20 for so long, he did a fantastic job to end up in P7. It was pretty stressful in the garage!”


Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 4 (Co-Drivers) – Second (Fastest Time: 02:05.1821)
Practice 5 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:04.2852)
Qualifying – Third (Fastest Time: 02:29.1880) *Wet*


Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“A few minor issues out on track but it was a little bit of everything out there; the car and the driver in the wet conditions for the qualifying session.  We didn’t stress too much.  We had a good start to the day this morning. For qualifying we put wets on without changing the setup and just drove the car.  We did well considering the car had a dry setup.  We were hoping it might dry a little bit in the session but that wasn’t the case.  In the end it was all good.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“It’s been a good week for me so far.  I just jump into the car when the team tells me to and jump straight back out when they ask me to get out.  It’s been quite low stress in comparison to full-time driving.  The car is good, like Shane said.  We had a good couple of sessions this morning and we think we have found what we needed to find with the balance of the car.  I didn’t really enjoy qualifying and watching from outside the car but I’m comfortable with my role; where I fit into the team, working alongside Shane and enjoying it.”


1800:  It’s been a long day.  Who knows what’s in store tomorrow but we do know that these end of day chats give us only a small glimpse of an action packed day.

1745:  Into the top ten shootout tomorrow – nail biting finish!



1740:  It’s down to the wire and as the times are cut down every lap… it’s only a matter of time before the session ends and the bulls need to make the top ten!



1630:  Just driving perfection from SVG.

1600:  About to roll out and the weather has definitely decided to change it up for us.  It will be one slippery session out there!

1530:  Been a little absent from the scene as the drivers have dashed form a signing session to a corporate visit to merchandise alley and finally to Holden.  If you haven’t already limited Bathurst edition is available this weekend!



1205:  What a session – looks like the team will need to do a quick inspection and fixer-upper on the car ahead of qualifying.  It’s a good thing there is only minor damage and nothing our amazing crew can’t do.


JDub/CL – P17 — 02:04.9580

SVG/GT – P6 — 02:04.2852



1150:  Ick!  Seems like JDub managed to miss and then hit.  Not what we want to see out there today.



1110:  Seems like GT really isn’t do all that much.

1105:  Back on track and time for the final practice session.

0945:  Data review and then into blackout – yes you know the drill.  It will be the same again today and tomorrow for our drivers as it’s time to get down to business ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.


JDub/CL – P14 — 02:05.9218

SVG/GT – P2 — 02:05.1821


0825:  Early start for our co-drivers.


Friday 11 October


Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 1– First (Fastest Time: 02:04.6744)
Practice 2 – Eight (Fastest Time: 2:06.1757)
Practice 3 – Second (Fastest Time: 02:03.9237)


Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“All in all, it was a good day.  The car was well and truly on the pace out on the track. We worked through our program very methodically and achieved what we wanted to achieve in the sessions.  Any day you can complete all three sessions is a good day, so we’ll take that.  It’s a long weekend ahead though, so we will keep focused and make sure we stay there or thereabouts.  Car #17 is very fast, and he has definitely cut the tenths down the road on pure speed so we will work away and see if we can find it tomorrow.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“For my session it went fairly smoothly.  It was great to be back in the car and get some laps under my belt.  It’s good to get into a rhythm and work on more of a race car scenario than a qualifying car.  The car has come out of the transporter fairly close to the mark.  Jamie did a fantastic job in the third session . The car looks like it has the goods to be on pace for the rest of the weekend.”


Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019


Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 1– Fifth (Fastest Time: 02:05.1577)
Practice 2 – Fourth (Fastest Time: 02:05.7200)
Practice 3 – Eighth (Fastest Time: 02:04.1501)


Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“The car wasn’t good in practice one. It was hard to drive, but it got better as we tried to keep up with the track evolving. Garth did practice two and he did well. In practice three, the car was good, and the team made some good in-roads from the sessions before; it was easier to drive. The new tyres were a little bit off, but it’s not the end of the world. I kept making little mistakes, but also, we’re not 100 percent on the limit, you don’t need to be on a Thursday, so it was a really good start. We’re just trying to make it a little bit more balanced across the top to make it easier for us. It’s hard to follow, so we’re going to have to try to come up with a car that makes it easy to pass people or we’re hopefully up front and can race up to cars ahead. It’s going to be a fine line, I think. It’s so hard to follow here this year, it’s so much faster. We’ve got more downforce, which means dirtier air. You’re more reliant on the downforce, so when you follow someone you don’t have that clean air.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“I felt really comfortable, but certainly taking no risks. For me, I was understanding how the Red Bull Holden Racing Team car behaves at Bathurst because it’s not somewhere that you can make a mistake and get away with it, especially across the top, so I just wanted to build up to it. I managed to do that through the session. I’m really comfortable with where the car was at. We made some changes that improved the car and the important thing is that Shane and I are saying the same thing as far as our feedback goes for the balance of the car. I thought for me it was a good day. I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that I feel comfortable in the car and look forward to tomorrow. The whole process of learning the Triple Eight way for me continues. As far as communication with all the crew and my description of how the car behaves, it seems to be working. It’s good that when we get to Bathurst and we’re doing it for real and the pressure’s on, it all works well.”



1900:  Dashing out to see fans with a little help from our friends at Red Bull.  Definitely need one to give us wings after the long day we’ve had today!

1730:  Although we’ve managed to talk to the drivers they need to quickly scoff down some food before the final appearance of the day.


JDub / CL – P2 — 02:03.9327

SVG/GT – P8 — 02:04.1501


1545:  15 minutes away for the final session of the day.

1400:  There is no mucking around at Bathurst with this schedule.  It is literally blackout, practice, debrief and data review back into blackout, practice – think you get the gist of it.

1345:  Times up!

JDub/CL – P8  — 2:06.1757

SVG/GT – P4 — 2:05.7200


1315:  And what’s happening on the other side of the garage with another red flag this session.



1300: What are friends for – JDub returning the favour to CL.


1245:  Eagerly awaited co-driver only session.  Time to brush off the dust from CL and GT so they can get their hands on the wheel and take the cars for a spin.

1100:  Practice 1 complete.

JDub/CL – P1 — 02:04.6744

SVG/GT – P5 — 02.05.1578


1030:  Back into action and seems like there is speed in the cars after rolling out of the truck – that’s what we like to see!



1025:  First red flag of the race weekend.



1005:  This the first of three hour long sessions.  Hope you’re all strapped in for the ride because as we all know the mountain decides things around here.


0955:  Let’s get this show on the road – Bathurst style!

0830:  Shout out to the fans that have been lining up in these chilly Bathurst conditions!  Great to see the Red Bull Holden Racing Team fans out in force and it’s only Day 1!

0645:   Nothing like getting an early morning of exercise – pit stop and driver change.

0630:  Rise and shine it’s FINALLY time to hit the track at the great Mount Panorama.  We have been waiting all season for this week to start and it’s now finally here!


Thursday 10 October