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Live Diary: Newcastle

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #888
QualifyingSecond (01:10.1281)
Top Ten Shootout First (01:10.5551)
Race 2 – First

ChampionshipThird (3,208 points)

“I learnt from Bathurst in 2014 that it’s not the result that’s the most important thing, it’s the effort.  We threw everything at it this year as a team, we had our backs against the wall at the start of the season and if you were to take a guess that we would be winning both races in the final round; if you said we were going to do that we’d say we were absolutely kidding ourselves.  But we ground away hard all season long and from New Zealand onward we were as competitive as anyone.  It’s something we should definitely be proud of. The effort was as great as any other season that we’ve done.  Given the circumstances, unfortunately we didn’t end up with the biggest trophies for the year and we won’t be at the end of pit lane that we wanted to be, but in saying that I couldn’t be prouder of everyone.  No doubt the vibe is good, it’s as good as it’s ever been and we will keep pushing on the next month or so; look forward to a nice break and then make sure that we come out of the box fast in 2020.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Qualifying18th (01:10.7626) * Penalty -21st
Top Ten Shootout – N/A
Race 2 – Seventh

ChampionshipSecond (3,310 points)

“Again, we struggled on the new tyre and I just couldn’t put a lap together in qualifying, the car was too hard to drive. I did my qualifying time on yesterday’s race tyres, so it was a real battle again and I couldn’t string a lap together. I started 21st after a penalty, so that made it a hard day, but we came up with a strategy to try make it better. I got I think a foursome of cars on the first lap, but then the safety car hurt that strategy, so then we tried something different again. To get seventh is a pretty good recovery from how much that hurt us. I think it’s still decent but I would have loved to have started up the front and raced those guys. Thanks to all our fans and supporters, it’s been pretty fun. We finished strong which gives us good momentum for next year. For Scotty (McLaughlin) and his championship, he deserves it – he’s been the best driver all year, so congratulations to him.”

 

 

 

1730:

JDub – P1

SVG – P7

 

 

1715:   It’s a time certain finish for the race!  It will be three laps short making it only 92 laps.

 

 

1700:  Safety car under way… you know what that means!

 


1645:  From P21 to moving it way up – that co-driver season is really paying off for SVG.

1615:

 


1610:  We have made it!  Race 32 of the 2019 season – not like anyone’s been counting.

 

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1330:  One bull in the top ten shootout.  Of course we would always want to have them both but not today.  JDub rolling out eighth in the shootout.

1200:  Those strategy sessions must be getting tough but then again the team are putting their heads together and making things work!  Fingers crossed they do it again for this afternoon’s race.

1141:  Unfortunately a very costly mistake for SVG and a penalty to add to it.  P21 hurts!

1140:  

JDub – P2 01:10.1281

SVG – P18 01:10.7626

 

 

1120:  We will no doubt be using the words – last and final a little too much today.  Trying to think of another word or two to use but in the mean time … final qualifying time!

1000:  Lots of snaps and signings happening today.  Newcastle has turned on some strange weather but it seems like the fans don’t mind.  Back to back autograph session before track time.

0900:  Here we are.  We made it!  Round 15 – the final race weekend of the 2019 season!

 

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Sunday 24 November

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Qualifying – First (Fastest Time: 01:10.1823)
Top Ten ShootoutThird (01:10.2817)
Race 1 – Eighth

“I think we were probably the third quickest car in qualifying and that’s where the results were, and I pushed really hard. When you’re the second car you do the best strategy you can but coming in early means the back end of the race is always going to be tough. I think (David) Cauchi (Race Engineer) made the right call on the strategy, the car was well good enough for second, but I just made a little error. I don’t like to kick myself too hard because everyone makes mistakes at work on a weekly basis. I don’t make many mistakes, but sometimes it happens. I’m disappointed of course, but we’re lucky because we’ve got another opportunity to fight back tomorrow.”

 

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Shane van Gisbergen  – Car #97
Qualifying – 10th (Fastest Time: 01:10.5342)
Top Ten Shootout – First (01:10.1747)
Race 1 – First

“The shootout really set up the day for me.  I struggled on new tyres for whatever reason and we had to come up with something to try and make it work.  I went through turn one and under drove but had grip, making it up the rest of the lap in the shootout.  That lap was good, the car was good, and the race was good.  Jamie maybe had better tyre life in that first stint, but the strategy worked out in our favour.  There was racing down into turn one with a couple of factors.  Obviously, you can’t plan scenarios, but I did have to be close enough to stay inside Scotty (McLaughlin) and Jamie had to be close enough to follow me through.  It worked out that way, we did it cleanly and ended up 1-2 which was perfect.  The end result however was a little bit of a shame as it would have been great to get 1-2 for the team. It makes tomorrow that little bit harder, but we will be trying to get those points for the Teams’ Championship as much as possible.”

 

1730:  What an effort and great team work but in the end we just didn’t quite get there.

JDub – P8

SVG – P1

 

1715:  20 laps to go and JDub has a mishaps – not what we want to see but it happens.

1630:  95 laps – 250km – two pit stops and full throttle as we try to gain maximum points for the Teams’ Championhip

 

 

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1620:  But not before a group hug…

“Let’s have some fun. You’ve been doing a cracker job all year. Today is no different.”

 

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1610:  Buckle up!

1605:  Cars out – sun out – let’s race!

 

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1430:  Corporate done right – yes on a boat!

 

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1345:  A few bumps around the circuit but stellar effort!  JDub slips into P3 and SVG has claimed pole position!  For that lap time to hold up after nine drivers – amazing drive SVG!

JDub – P3 — 01:10.2817

SVG – P1  — 01:10.1747

 

 

1340:  Final car out is car 88.

1330: Half way through and SVG still on top.  Been some close calls across the different sectors but not close enough!

1320:  WOW!  SVG just lit up the track.  Let’s see iif he can hold on to the top spot.  Only nine drivers to go.

 

1315:  It’s shootout time!  SVG is up first since we are starting in reverse order from qualifying.

 

 

1110:  And it holds up!  J-Dub takes provisional pole after the qualifying. while SVG gets into the top 10 by the skin of his teeth.

1108:  SVG has just left the garage… time for one lap and it needs to count!

1105:  With that lap J-Dub is out of the car and done for the session.

 

 

1050:  Big first session on track and no time to make any big mistakes.  Qualifying with the top ten going into the shootout.

 

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0930:  When you start them young and are fans for life – these fans are so cute!  Red Bull Holden Racing Team fans out in numbers today – great to see!

0800:  Jam packed day on track – qualifying, top ten shootout and racing!  We are excited and eager to get on track – buckle up for the final two days of racing!

 

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Saturday 23 November

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

Practice 1 – Third (Fastest Time: 01:10.7119)
Practice 2 – First (Fastest Time: 01:10.3173)

“It’s great to be out there on track.  It’s such a challenge at this place to simply just get around with the tight turns and track itself.  The bumps are forever increasing so it’s a bit of a balance to get the car to handle the bumps and get grip in general.  (David) Cauchi (Race Engineer) did a great job to get us through practice for day one but unfortunately, I don’t think many cars got their absolute, ultimate lap in the session, so our pace doesn’t reflect our true position on the grid.  We know that we will need to improve for tomorrow, and we’ll do everything we can to do that.  Fingers crossed we can make some good calls so that the car ends up being quick in qualifying tomorrow.”

 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

Practice 1 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 01:11.0079)
Practice 2 – Third (Fastest Time: 01:10.3779)

“We were out there trying to push the limits; trying things but my car isn’t that good even though it was fast.  We will be trying to make it nicer to drive without making it slower, but I think we are okay moving into tomorrow.  There are a few different kerbs and seals around including the new hairpin which will hopefully make the racing better. You want an awesome circuit, but you want to be able to race too.  Newcastle has always been a good track.  It’s awesome to drive and when you can put a lap together out here, it’s a pretty good feeling.  Qualifying is still going to be the most important thing this round and hopefully I can do that by getting through turn one tomorrow.”

 

1630:  Quick press conference and a few words to wrap up the day.

1600:  The final practice for 2019 is done and not a bad way to round it out.  Whoever thought we’d make it this far.

JDub – P1 — 01:10.3173

SVG – P3 — 01:10.3779

 

1540:  Whoops seems like loose mirrors was a thing during that session.  Good thing we pack some extras.

 

1525:  Ready for another crack at the track and guess what? It’s the last practice session of 2019!

1400:  We are going to relax a little and take in the view on our corporate boat… yes that’s right the only place where we don’t have a box but it’s all on the water.

1200:   Not a bad start.  Track had some changes and we are seeing the change in weather.  Let’s hope it holds off but seriously this is not Newcastle without the sun!

JDub – P3 — 01:10.7119

SVG – P6 — 01:11.0079

 

1145:   Started off fairly well and some purple sectors for SVG.

 

 

1130:  We are strapped in for practice.  Only two sessions today before qualifying kicks off tomorrow.

 

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0900:  Followed by saying hello to our legendary Red Bull Holden Racing Team fans.  Your support doesn’t do unnoticed – Thank you!

 

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0830:  Breakfast catch ups in comfort and style.

0800:  Bright, sunny and humid – what a welcome for the final round of racing at Newcastle!

 

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Friday, 22 November