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Vodafone targets hat-trick at Bathurst.

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will look to become the first pair in more than two decades to secure a hat-trick of wins at Bathurst in the second V8 Supercar enduro event of the season.

The feat was last achieved back in 1984 by Larry Perkins and the late Peter Brock, but both Lowndes and Whincup head into the weekend aware that a third straight win will be far from straightforward.

Fresh from a second place finish in the L&H 500 at Phillip Island last time out, the pair have also completed a solid test day at Queensland Raceway and Lowndes said he was confident about the biggest race on the calendar next weekend at the Mountain.

“I feel more confident going into Bathurst this year than I felt last year, personally I am a lot fitter and much more prepared,” he said. “A third win would put us in the history books, but more importantly be a fantastic credit to the team which has shown its strength at the endurance events and particularly Bathurst.

“The new tyre will again be an interesting factor for teams to deal with, tyre issues seem to come and go at Bathurst and we won't really know what to expect until the race is underway. Our driver pairing hasn't changed, the team hasn't changed – hopefully the result has not changed!”

For Fabrizio Giovanardi and Marc Hynes, the Supercheap Auto 1000 presents a completely different challenge, with both drivers making their Bathurst debut.

The car #88 duo drove a solid, sensible race at Phillip Island to finish in 17th place and relished the extra seat time at Queensland Raceway.

In the fortnight that has passed since Phillip Island, Giovanardi returned to the UK to wrap up a second straight BTCC title and he said he felt the championship success had been a good boost going into the weekend.

"It has been a busy time for me and very satisfying to take another title, now my focus switches to Bathurst with TeamVodafone, one of the biggest challenges I will face in my career," he said. "Each time I get in the car I am feeling more comfortable, we will use the practice sessions to learn the track and take a safe and consistent race strategy."

Hynes said he couldn't wait to tackle the Mountain for the first time, citing it as a race he had always wanted to take part in.

"Very few races are held in the same regard as Bathurst, it's talked about the world over. To be able to contest the race with the defending champions is a fantastic opportunity," the Briton said. "The team knows this track like no other and I'm looking forward to working with Fabrizio and the engineers to setup the car, with a good strategy and the proven pace we are quietly confident of a top result."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup (aust) Team Vodafone 888 Ford  L and H 500, Rd 9 V8 Supercars Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Phillip Island Victoria Aust
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight Holden Commodore [pic credit V8 Supecars]

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