V8 race tightest in recent years
It will be as much about minds as motors for whoever can end the year at the top of the the tightest V8 Supercar championship lead pack in memory.
Just 29 points separate leader Will Davison, defending champion Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom after an action-packed weekend at Phillip Island as the season approaches its mid-point.
With 150 points for a regular race win, fourth-placed Craig Lowndes is just 200 off the lead and Ford’s Shane Van Gisbergen and Lee Holdsworth are close behind him.
The key players believe the mental game is just as important as what happens on-track, with Ford driver Davison’s win at Phillip Island on Sunday after a frightening crash on Saturday proof of the measures drivers will need to adopt.
“When you’ve had a disappointing day, you’ve got to have the team around you to be able to bounce back,” said Lowndes, who also rebounded from Saturday disaster after two run-ins with stewards to finish second on Sunday.
“You can’t change the past, you can only change the future. Internally you are frustrated and angry with yourself, but you have to focus and put it behind you.”
With 11 of the scheduled 29 races finished, the second part of the season is set up for a classic Holden (Whincup and Lowndes) versus Ford (Davison, Winterbottom) stoush to the end.
Whincup and Lowndes’ Team Vodafone is under heavy challenge from the resurgent Ford Performance Racing, with Davison winning six of the 11 races and Winterbottom winning on Saturday at Phillip Island.
Lowndes acknowledges FPR has lifted markedly, but is confident his team won’t let slip its dominance of recent years.
“The championship is so close, you can’t afford to have 10 per cent go wrong for you,” Lowndes said.
“We haven’t slowed down, FPR have actually picked up their act.”
“It’s great to have a championship where the competition’s great between the two manufacturers.
“They were close last year, but didn’t have the consistency they were looking for.”
The next races are in Darwin from June 15 to 17.
© AAP 2013
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