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Perfect score for Whincup at Yas Marina

20 February 2010

Pace-setter Jamie Whincup has used the spectacular Yas V8 400 in Abu Dhabi to signal his intent of claiming a record third straight V8 Supercar Championship by winning race two of the season-opening event to complete the weekend double.

Whincup returned to Holden after four years of driving for Ford with his slick TeamVodafone outfit this season, but didn't miss a beat in Abu Dhabi with a four-second victory over Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom, making it a perfect two wins from two starts to open the year.

"The car was bullet-proof, and we were sort of in control from the start," Whincup said.

"I am almost in shock from what has panned out this weekend. Having a brand-new car, a brand-new circuit and to almost have a perfect weekend, well that's good enough. It is just an amazing feeling.

"We have five or six little issues that you can't see from the outside that we're going to have to improve before too long, but it's all pretty good - I can't believe I've won two from two."

Ford's Winterbottom, the pole-sitter in today's race, paid the price for a slow start which allowed Whincup a chance to take the lead into the first corner, and did well to make the podium after dropping down to fifth in the early stages.

"We [still] take good confidence in there," Winterbottom said.

"With the improvements we are making and the way the car is I am pretty happy with what we have done this weekend. The car is straight, which is important as we have got a race in a week so that was the goal. Get points, try to improve the car and go to Bahrain and have a harder go.

"We have got what we have got at the moment and we will try to make that the best of what that is, and new bits will come on for Adelaide and then new bits come on again. It is exciting what we have got coming, but we use what we have got. Bahrain has been nice to us so we shall see what happens."

SP Tool's Shane Van Gisbergen, the youngest driver in the field at just 20, finished third, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way.

"Later in last year, I was a lot more consistent and made less mistakes, and I feel I'm maturing a lot more like that, being more consistent and racing a lot cleaner," Van Gisbergen said.

"It's working alright, and now it's showing. I feel like I'm driving pretty good, and the team's doing a good job. We just need to keep doing what we're doing, and results like this will keep coming."

Jack Daniels Racing's Rick Kelly fought back for a strong fourth.

"We had a tough start to the weekend and I'm really stoked that we managed to fight back to get a fourth," said Rick Kelly.

"We were still a little bit behind others as far as track time because of practice. We fixed a couple of little things on the car to get more pace and we will definitely be in line to get a podium at this event.

"We just need to keep trying to finish in the top five and top three to get points and momentum for the Championship."

Whincup's back-to-back gives him 300 championship points into next weekend's second round of the Series at the Gulf Air Desert 400 in Bahrain, while Winterbottom (267 points) is second.

Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes, who was fifth in Saturday's race, is third in the Championship with 249 points.

To see the race result in full, click here


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