TeamVodafone continued its strong run of form in the V8 Supercar Championship enduro events at Phillip Island with a seventh straight enduro podium, although there was disappointment for Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes at failing to secure victory.
The pair took pole position for the L&H 500 following two short qualifying races and looked good for victory until ten laps from the end, when the Toll HRT Holden of Mark Skaife and Garth Tander was able to find a way past to secure victory.
Despite changing conditions and a number of Safety Car periods, the #888 Ford ran at the front throughout, with Lowndes leading the race for the duration of his first and only 43-lap stint before handing over to Whincup – who was forced to deal with a torrential downpour mid-way through the race.
Whincup double stinted when a Safety Car presented an opportunity for re-fuelling and tyres but fading concentration with only 10 laps to go allowed Tander through to claim the lead.
“It was a faultless performance by the guys,” Whincup reflected. “I am just disappointed that I dropped the bundle with ten laps to go.
“We all knew the rain would come we just didn't know when it would be or how it would play out in terms of who would be in the car.
“Craig also did an amazing job but unfortunately the team didn't get the result they deserve.”
Lowndes added that things had been nearly perfect for the team throughout the weekend and, despite the disappointment of missing out on the win, said the Triple Eight run squad for now well set for the next round of the year at Bathurst.
“The car was 99% right this weekend and we had a number of strategies to cope with the varying circumstances,” he said. “I congratulate the HRT team on doing a good job but I would really like to make special mention of our team who did an exceptional job given the variables they faced.
“We can now sit back, reflect and look forward to the mountain as we are off to a great start."