Archive Australian Grand Prix

Live Diary: Melbourne 400

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Race 4Third

“We didn’t have the fastest cars by a long shot but we worked as a team to do everything we could over the weekend to get the best results possible.  To finish second overall and third today, we take it and run with it and consider the Melbourne 400 a success.  We understand there is a lot of work to do but we will be more fired up to find further performance gains within the car and the team.  Without a doubt the team has the same opinion that we will continue pushing hard to bridge the deficit and if we get there it will be a win for everyone; the competition will be stronger and we can give the cars in front a run for their money.  It’s also a proud moment to rock up with 200 podiums.  I have been working really hard in this category for a while, I don’t usually go for the numbers but it’s really nice when they arrive.”

Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 Event 2 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Melbourne, Victoria. Australia. 14th-17th March 2019.

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

Race 4 – 22nd

“That was the end of a horror weekend on our side of the garage. I felt like a punching bag in that race.  I started in fifth position and was hoping for a good start and clean race.  I was supposed to then settle into the race to see if we could improve the car but everyone else had other ideas.  It’s a real shame finishing almost last, but we need to move on and be better.”

1600:  No doubt a weekend of ultimate highs and lows but it’s time to pack up, regroup and move onto Round 3 in Tassie.


1430:  What a weekend for SVG he just can’t catch a break – 15 second penalty.

1405:   SVG has been battling it out getting knocks from all sides – atta boy!

1345:  Pushing and shoving in the front of the pack with nose to tail for JDub.

1335:  Final race for Melbourne 400!  Short and sweet – 13 laps and it’s done.

1130:  Cruising day for the drivers – get to put their feet up.

0945:  Roller coaster weekend or not – huge shout out and thanks to our fans!


0800:  Let’s finish out the weekend strong and heads held high!

Sunday 17 March


Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Race 2 –  Fourth

Race 3 –  Second

“We had a great day and race today. We pushed hard early and were aggressive straight at the start which then allowed us to lead the race.  Obviously, we had a little bit of luck with the incident involving the front two cars.  We were racing car #55 in the pits but in hindsight that may not have been the best idea as it was always going to get past us.  Within the race, I really enjoyed the battle with the BJR team as they have a similar car to us and have been doing a great job racing it this year.  I was fortunate though to just came home in front of them.”

Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 Event 2 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Melbourne, Victoria. Australia. 14th-17th March 2019.

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

Race 2 –  10th

Race 3 –  22nd

“Today there is really isn’t much to say about the race.  It’s tough to go out there and have all these issues.  The beginning of the race wasn’t ideal with the starting position, but it seemed alright.  It felt like the engine was slow and then wheel fell off so it’s not what we wanted.  The crew will look at it tonight and hopefully be better tomorrow.”

2000:  Only just getting a chance to catch up with drivers after such a late whirlwind race.

1820:  Wait is over – RACE TIME!

1720:  Patience is a virtue today – still one hour before the race.

1620: Race 3 in an  2 hours.

Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 Event 2 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Melbourne, Victoria. Australia. 14th-17th March 2019.

1320:  All over like a flash of lightening.  Well done crew.  Eyes forward to the next one!

J-Dub – Race 2 — Third

SVG – Race 2 — 10th

1305:  After quck start JDub is nose to tail trying to hold off the rest of the pack behind him while SVG is cruising in style while driving Miss Daisy back in P11.

1250:  Race 2 – 13 laps – short and sweet!

1200:  Our racing this weekend has been overshadowed by the news in NZ.


1110:  These guys are machines!  Practice makes perfect – every day (or at least quicker every time).

900:  Another late start to the day but full of opportunities for the fans to see our drivers!

Saturday 16 March 


Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Qualifying Race 3 –  Sixth (Fastest Time: 1:54.6426)

Qualifying Race 4 –  Third (Fastest Time: 1:54.6318)

Race 1  Eighth (Fastest Time: 50:23.2620)

“We qualified seventh which firstly wasn’t a great starting position. On top of this, I had a poor start to the race losing a spot straight away, so I need to do a better job there. Also, there is some very fast opposition out there, so our finishing position is combination of all those factors. Eighth position is down the order, a lot further than what we would like but that’s the way it goes. I am looking forward to starting a little further up, closer to the front, for the race tomorrow and getting some cleaner air.” 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

Qualifying Race 3 –  13th (Fastest Time: 1:55.1722)

Qualifying Race 4 –  5th (Fastest Time: 1:54.7325)

Race 1  NC (Fastest Time: 42:14.9681)

“My qualifying was bad however the race was good and fun. I was trying to save tyres and push as hard as I could as there was no pace at the start with the other cars simply too fast for us. Towards the end of the race I passed a few cars and was running down at the end but then had a motor issue. It’s a real shame to end the race. We will check the damage, hopefully it’s a not a big fix and have another crack at it with three races to go this weekend. Overall though our day is insignificant in comparison to what happened in New Zealand. It’s very sad to see the news coming from over there. My thoughts are with all the families affected by the situation and my country.”

2000: We caught the drivers just before the team headed into debrief and the crew begins bonding over fixing cars.

1830:  Car #97 has had enough – will not budge! Unlucky finish for SVG.

1820:  JDub hasn’t learnt from qualy – still getting ino trouble over T9!

1815: Phew that was CLOSE!


1745:  Off to a great start – smooth sailing through the first three laps.

1715:  30 minutes till racing starts at the Melbourne 400.

1430: Great driving on the final session – all race start positions for the weekend are now set.

J-DUB — P3 – 01:54.6318

SVG — P5 – 01:54.7325


1425:  That was quick – JDub is done and out of the car currently in P2 with 5 minutes left of qualifying.

1420:  It’s all go, go, GO! – these turn around times seem faster than what’s happening out there on the track!

1410: Catch a quick breath and back to it for another round for our drivers.

J-DUB —  P6 – 01:54.6426

SVG – P13 – 01:55.1722



1405:  Both drivers have done their first lap and going out for another drive.

1359:  Releasing cars in 30 seconds.

1300:  Crew is busy preparing the cars for qualifying in an hour.

1215:  and getting to spend some quality time with the Red Bull family.

1000: A little sleep-in on Day 2 before another full action packed day.

Friday 15 March


Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Practice 1 –  Third  (Fastest Time: 1:56.0824)
Practice 2 –  Sixth (Fastest Time: 1:55:3531)
Qualifying Race 1 –  Seventh (Fastest Time: 1:54.6352)
Qualifying Race 2 –  Third (Fastest Time: 1:54.3431)

“We didn’t quite maximise the first qualifying session and left a few tenths of a second on the table for other teams, however (David) Cauchi (Race Engineer) did a great job tuning the car for the second run.  The car felt fantastic and I was able to throw it all out on the line so I couldn’t be happier with the time for the second qualifying session.”


Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

Practice 1 –  22nd  (Fastest Time: 1:58.2981)
Practice 2 –  20th (Fastest Time: 1:56.3716)
Qualifying Race 1 –  Fifth (Fastest Time: 1:54.5425)
Qualifying Race 2 –  11th (Fastest Time: 1:54.8335)

“It was a shame we missed the first sessions with a few little problems that we had but the crew did a good job to fixing them in time for the next session.  The second session was awesome and we tried to do as many laps as possible.  The first qualifying was good, the car was nice and then the next one I made a mistake but luckily that race is only for 50 points so hopefully we can improve in the qualifying and race tomorrow.”


1730:  Quick catch up before the drivers head to dinner and debrief.

1720: Mighty effort by the whole crew!

J-DUB — P3 – 1:54.3431

SVG — P11 – 1:54.8335


1700: Not a bad run for the crew in the first qualifying for the day but no time for mucking around.  Back to back we go!

J-DUB — P7 – 1:54.6352

SVG — P5 – 1:54.5425


1640: and before we know it… it’s time to QUALIFY!

1535:  In a blink of an eye it all seems to be over and making progress.

J-DUB — P6 – 1:55:3531

SVG — P20 – 1:56.3716


1500:  Releasing cars and pit lane opened.

1400:  Quick debrief and heading back out there for another practice.

1255:  Practice is under way and its tit for tat for the fastest lap times.

J-DUB — P3 – 1:56.0824

SVG — P22 – 1:58.2981

1150:  Down to business and time to get on the serious side – driver’s in black out.

1055: and a moment to catch up with our friends in the F1 Red Bull Racing team!


0845:  Full schedule ahead but first a tripe down memory lane.


0700: Melbourne 400 at the Australian Grand Prix – we are here!