Jamie Whincup is back in the groove after a faultless performance in the BigPond 300 in Perth today, re-establishing a one-race buffer over the only man who can steal his second V8 Supercar title - Will Davison.
The TeamVodafone driver put together another seamless display to win the first of two races in the BigPond event, winning his eleventh race of the season and first in Perth.
He beat home Jack Daniel's Racing's Todd Kelly, his first podium of the year, and FPRs Mark Winterbottom.
If there were any signs of cracks in Whincup's armour a month ago at the SuperGP event on the Gold Coast they have now been filled with steel. But it's unlikely he'll be able to do it again tomorrow given the team used pretty much all of their faster Dunlop sprint tyres today.
Davison finished fifth today.
“The Gold Coast seems like a very long time ago now but I remind myself of it every day,” Whincup said of his self-induced disaster in Surfers Paradise.
“We've just got to bolt now and get on with it. I felt we had to sprint today, go hard and get that lead over 150 (points). Let's get it straight, we are racing car #22 (Davison). That's who we have to race tomorrow.”
And why the current domination?
“I'm just driving at my potential,” he said. "I feel I peaked at the end of last year and now I feel I'm back there again. It's not impossible to win tomorrow but highly unlikely, we'll just hold the Perth grand prix in the middle of the pack and watch the others who've still got soft tyres left.”
Todd Kelly was a deserved second place as the rookie Jack Daniel's team hit form. It was the third podium in as many races after his brother Rick scored a third and a second at the last event at Phillip Island two weeks ago.
“It's been a while,” the former HRT racer said. “I've been chasing podiums all year and when you work so hard to form a new team it feels even sweeter.
“It's taken a lot of work and effort to get the team right with the right people and it's incredible for us to be in that position now.”