Rac­ing to find form

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH

REID Park dom­i­na­tor Jamie Whin­cup says history means lit­tle as he looks to turn around a cri­sis of con­fi­dence with some clean runs at the Townsville 400.

The Red Bull Rac­ing Aus­tralia driver is king of the Townsville hy­brid cir­cuit, hav­ing won seven of 13 races held in North Queens­land since 2009 but things haven’t been go­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pion’s way in re­cent rounds.

Whin­cup ar­rives in the North in eighth place in the 2015 Su­per­cars Cham­pi­onship, 286 points adrift of leader Mark Win­ter­bot­tom, af­ter three con­sec­u­tive re­sults out­side the top- 10.

Af­ter a Dar­win week­end where he failed to peg back ground, Whin­cup ad­mits he’s not his nor­mal as­sured self.

“My con­fi­dence isn’t on a high af­ter the last three race meet­ings where we’ve failed to have a quick car and we’ve failed to do the job any­where,” Whin­cup said.

“I’ve made three or four mis­takes in the last three race meet­ings as well, which I’m not too proud about.”

Even the thought of re­turn­ing to the place where he has been so dom­i­nant failed to buoy the six­time cham­pion.

“We’re a fair bit off the lead now so we can’t have any more mis­takes or we are well and truly over,” Whin­cup said.

“There are two 150- point races there, one on Satur­day and one on Sun­day, and history says we’ve gone well there but that doesn’t guar­an­tee any­thing this year.

“We’re go­ing back to the draw­ing board – the draw­ing board’s get­ting a lit­tle bit worn out to be hon­est – but we’ll go back there, try to re­group and try and get the car as quick as we can for there.”

The tem­per­a­ture is forecast to sit on 25C over the week­end and Whin­cup said fit­ness and tak­ing care of the car would be es­sen­tial.

“Two big 200km races, one on Satur­day and one on Sun­day, and to back up af­ter the big Satur­day race and be fresh enough to get through Sun­day is quite dif­fi­cult,” Whin­cup said.

“It’s crit­i­cal you’ve got good en­gi­neer­ing on the cars and the me­chan­ics re­ally go through it with a fine toothed comb on Satur­day night to make sure it’s all nice and strong come Sun­day.”

Whin­cup and team­mates Steve Richards and Craig Lown­des will swap cars for moun­tain bikes to­mor­row when they tackle the Dou­glas Moun­tain Bike Re­serve with fans from 8.30am.

CON­FI­DENCE: Townsville 500 king Jamie Whin­cup has strug­gled in re­cent races but hopes to turn his luck around this week­end. Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

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