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Whincup and Dumbrell snatch the Pirtek Enduro Cup

Dumbrell Whincup GC2014Dumbrell Whincup GC2014Jamie Whincup claimed another piece of silverware and for the first time declared his confidence in taking a sixth V8 Supercars Championship when he comes up against Marcos Ambrose in Sydney.

Whincup and Paul Dumbrell snatched the Pirtek Enduro Cup, which is fast becoming a prized possession across the three long distance races, at the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600, from Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat’s Valvoline GRM Volvo and Nissan’s Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore.

It was the first V8 Supercar podium for Frenchman Premat and West Australian Fiore.

The result had three separate manufacturers on the podium for the first time at the Gold Coast event which also had a sharp rise in attendance with 185,000 people across the weekend.

Whincup has won five Championships and four Supercheap Auto Bathurst titles, now adding the Pirtek Enduro Cup to the sizeable Red Bull Racing Australia collection.

“Any athlete competing at home wants to put in a good performance, I’ve got family here and obviously have some friends in the stands so we pushed hard, worked hard last night and the car was fantastic,” said Whincup.

“PD did a seamless job as per usual, as he has done in the last three rounds, and I was getting all amped up for a big battle with Gizzy (Shane Van Gisbergen) for the last 40 laps, our last was in 2010, and unfortunately he got a drive through which eliminated that battle.”

And for the first time Whincup feels comfortable but not completely assured the 2014 title is his with the Phillip Island 400 and Sydney NRMA 500, where he will take on Ambrose, who sits alongside him as one of the greatest drivers in the sports rich history.

“This is obviously a fairly pivotal round for the Championship. We've come here and done a good job and given ourselves a good opportunity to grab that Championship trophy at the end of the year. But there’s still 600 points up for grabs - we’re not counting our chickens yet. 

“We’re going to have to choke pretty heavily from here, it’s possible though. But we’ll go away and do what we normally do and fire out at Phillip Island.”

McLaughlin could not quite get to Whincup and Caruso pushed him across the closing laps in the Nissan Altima but could not close him out for second.

“Compared with Jamie and Shane (van Gisbergen) we did not quite have it, and even Caruso at the end, but I had a little bit to hold Michael off,” he said. 

“I was glad to bring it home. I am stoked for the boys and stoked to get a surfboard. It is one of the coolest trophies you can ever get.”

Caruso said the signs were good for Nissan which is building towards next year.

“It’s good we've had some great pace this year and it’s slowly getting better,” he said.

“We have had a fantastic car for the last two rounds. It’s great to finish up with a trophy because everyone has worked really hard in the team. We are progressing and continuing to go forward.”

Team Tekno V.I.P Petfood’s Van Gisbergen’s day wasn't a repeat of his victory yesterday when he was given a pit lane drive-through penalty for overtaking early at a safety car restart. He was third at the time behind fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin.

It dropped Van Gisbergen back to 21st and effectively out of the race. But a massive drive for the second day in a row got the Kiwi back into fifth with arguably the performance of the day.

James Courtney’s horrible weekend continued when he clashed with Mark Winterbottom at the halfway point, breaking a steering arm. Courtney tried an inside lunge but clipped the rear of Winterbottom’s Falcon which caused the damage.

Tim Slade and Tony D’Alberto backed up yesterday’s third place in the Supercheap Auto Commodore with fourth while Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb’s chances of winning in the V.I.P Pet Foods Holden were dashed by a drive-through penalty for an illegal safety car restart.

Whincup’s closest pursuer in the Championship, factory Ford Performance Racing driver Mark Winterbottom and Red Bull team-mate Craig Lowndes, finished 14th and 11th respectively to drop even further off the points pace.

Winterbottom was running eighth late in the race but appeared to run out of fuel.

Race 32 Top Ten

1 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell

2 Valvoline Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/A.Premat

3 Norton Hornets M.Caruso/D.Fiore

4 Supercheap Auto Racing T.Slade/T.D'Alberto

5 Team Tekno VIP Petfoods S.Van Gisbergen/J.Webb

6 The Bottle-O Racing Team D.Reynolds/D.Canto

7 Lockwood Racing F.Coulthard/L.Youlden

8 Repair Management Aust Racing R.Ingall/T.Blanchard

9 Jack Daniel's Racing R.Kelly/D.Russell

10 Walkinshaw Racing N.Percat/O.Gavin

 

Championship points after Race 32

1 Jamie Whincup 2835

2 Mark Winterbottom 2433

3 Shane Van Gisbergen 2357

4 Craig Lowndes 2331

5 Fabian Coulthard 2192

6 Chaz Mostert 2147

7 James Courtney 2135

8 Scott McLaughlin 2019

9 Garth Tander 1806

10 Michael Caruso 1688

 

PIRTEK Enduro Cup Standings:

1

JamieWhincup/Paul Dumbrell

810

2

Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris

645

3

Shane van Gisbergen/Jonathon Webb

579

4

Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen

543

5

Scott McLaughlin/Alexandre Premat

522

6

Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards

519

7

Fabian Coulthard/Luke Youlden

480

8

Nick Percat/Oliver Gavin

462

9

Michael Caruso/Dean Fiore

462

10

James Courtney/Greg Murphy

447