Racing to find form
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