Holden’s Jamie Whincup continues to cut the margin to V8 Supercars championship leader Mark Winterbottom after back-to-back wins at Queensland Raceway.
Jamie Whincup’s red-hot V8 Supercars form is turning ominous.
The Red Bull Racing driver is inexorably closing in on the series lead after back-to-back wins at Queensland Raceway on Saturday brought him within 48 points of Ford’s Mark Winterbottom.
Whincup, a lowly fifth in the standings back in May, has snared six of the past eight races to storm back into title contention.
His pair of victories at Ipswich couldn’t have come about more differently however.
After dominating race one with Craig Lowndes, Whincup snared the lead following a tight tussle with his veteran teammate with 10 laps remaining in the 33-lap sprint race.
From there he pulled clear, eventually coming home with a healthy 4.5 second margin.
In Saturday’s second 100km race, the Holden ace was back in third when Nissan’s Michael Caruso and Volvo driver Scott McLaughlin came together in the 22nd lap.
Leader McLaughlin was sent spinning by Caruso, effectively ending the Volvo driver’s race while a subsequent drive-through penalty for Caruso allowed Whincup to take the lead and the win.
With Winterbottom struggling his way to sixth-place finishes in both races, a 96-point margin at the start of the day between the championship’s top two had effectively been halved.
“We feel confident we’ve made some gains, that race showed there’s still plenty more to go,” Whincup said.
“We’ve certainly made some gains from the start of the year which is what it’s all about.”
Lowndes finished second in both races to haul himself back up to third in the championship standings, a further 198 points behind Whincup.
Winterbottom’s championship bid has so far been built on the back of impressive results in the Sunday races at events, which are worth double the points of each of Saturday’s races.
Lowndes says there’s no doubt the longer format will force everyone to compete differently to Saturday.
“You’ll see different strategies tomorrow,” Lowndes said.
“Guys that are confident of doing longer runs will get the best out of their tyres … you might find some cars pitting quite early to get an advantage if you’re in traffic.
“Tomorrow will be a very different ballgame.”
Sunday’s action begins with qualifying at 12.55pm (AEST) before the 200km race starts at 3.50pm.