“Leading when the engine let go is particularly painful, but such a rare occurrence is very difficult to prepare for. I'm comfortable that my engineer has conquered the soft tyre setup and I am looking forward to another weekend where we can use the information gained today.”
One of the most remarkable comebacks is that of Tander who is now within sight of Whincup despite gathering next to no points in the first two events of the year in the Middle East.
“It's a great opportunity for all of us to chase Jamie in the Championship. It's a very long year and there are still plenty of stories to be told. This is just one chapter. I'm sure James (Courtney) realises that and ours was a good haul as well,” he said.
Likewise Van Gisbergen is in the mix with his great consistency. At just 20 he appears a Championship contender somewhere down the track, not that he is thinking that.
“That's a big call,” he said. “At the moment I'm focused on keeping getting these podiums and Ill look at all the latest stuff before Winton to see what I can learn there. The boys are pretty happy with that result so we'll try to stay with that mindset.”
The start today was all but false when Lee Holdsworth got away at a crawl midway on the grid leaving half the field having to negotiate around him. One of those was FPR Orccon Steel Racer Mark Winterbottom who snuck up the inside only to clip the Holden on the way through.
It appeared Holdsworth had attempted to move to the inside without seeing Winterbottom who was travelling at virtually double the speed. The cars clipped and Winterbottom went careering into the fence. His day and a forgettable weekend was done.
“I had a pretty good start and obviously the Holdsworth car was slow off the start,” Winterbottom said. “It looks like he tried to move to the inside to defend, the cars clipped and I smacked into the wall. I guess we re-group and head to Winton now, there's not too much more we can do.”
In stark contrast to Holdsworth's start his team-mate Michael Caruso had an extraordinary day in moving from 27th to sixth in what was easily the drive of the day. Caruso was on absolute fire with a cracking display in the Fujitsu Commodore.
The Championship now continues at Winton Motor Raceway in two weeks time.