TeamVodafone is looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit this weekend for the first ever points-paying V8 Supercars Championship event to be held on the same weekend as a Formula 1 World Championship race.
Defending V8 Supercars Champion, Jamie Whincup is the driver to beat. The Holden pilot has won eight races so far this year and boasts a success rate of three race wins from four starts at the Yas Marina circuit.
It has been 20-months since the V8 Supercars last venture to the Middle East and the #1 driver said he isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“Like always, we’ll go in with confidence from our previous experience there, but I’m certainly not over confident,” Whincup said.
“If the Sandown sprint races were any indication I think it could get pretty loose out there.
“I am a big fan of the Abu Dhabi circuit. I’m impressed with the high quality of the facility and it’s a track that suits our Commodores well.
“Three rounds remaining doesn’t sound like much but for me there still seems to be a very long way to go. I hope my best performance for the year is still to come,” Whincup concluded.
Whincup is on the eve of another record breaking moment, with his #1 Holden Chassis (#888-023) one win short of equaling the all time record of 25 race wins, held by the Stone Brothers Racing Falcon driven by Marcos Ambrose in 2003-2005.
Abu Dhabi has not been a happy hunting ground for Craig Lowndes, the #888 driver has only a single podium finish at the venue, second in 2010.
Qualifying on the front row for both races last year, Lowndes is confident that he can regain some Championship points this weekend.
“I am feeling really confident about heading back to Abu Dhabi. Even though my results don’t show it, it is a circuit that I like racing on,” Lowndes said. “I need to come away with a good points haul this weekend to make sure I remain in the title hunt.
“We will be racing on the full circuit for the first time which will definitely make for some exciting racing,” Lowndes concluded.
With seven races remaining, Jamie Whincup holds a commanding 218-point lead over Ford driver Mark Winterbottom. Teammate Lowndes is locked in a battle for second place, trailing Winterbottom by just 27 points.
The V8 Supercars Championship Series will contest three sprint races, each of 12 laps (65 kilometres) on the full 5.55km circuit. Friday will see the V8 Supercar field hit the track for two 30 minute practice sessions followed by Qualifying in the afternoon ahead of two races on Saturday and one on Sunday.