Okay, so let’s do a wind-up of Round Four of the V8 Supercar Championship for 2007.
One word does this round justice. Yuk!
I’ve never really enjoyed watching a round from Winton’s low-speed, tight-twisty track and when it rains at this Ned Kelly land racetrack the racing becomes more of a sedate Sunday drive in the country rather than a cut & thrust round of motorsport.
I’ll be succinct. I didn’t enjoy the round and I seriously doubt any of the teams and drivers – other than Jamie Whincup and maybe Garth Tander – did either. Congrats to Whincup, and again my belief that V8 Supercar racing is only for the hungry and ruthless, is borne out. It seems that under the current formula unless you’re young, barely blooded and willing to risk all in a bid to make champion, then you’re unlikely to perform at your best. Winton seemed to bare me out with a plethora of lesser teams and drivers coming to the fore in very adverse conditions over the weekend, while too many of the elite drivers spent too much time on the infield mud. Mark Skaife alone was noted to have gone off the track more than seven times on Saturday alone.
Consistency still rewards its adherents, as displayed by the round points score following today’s mud bath.
|1||88||Team Vodafone||Jamie Whincup||64|
|2||16||Toll HSV Dealer Team||Garth Tander||63|
|3||1||Toll HSV Dealer Team||Rick Kelly||51|
|4||51||Tasman Motorsport||Greg Murphy||26|
|5||888||Team Vodafone||Craig Lowndes||25|
|6||6||Ford Performance Racing||Steven Richards||25|
|7||17||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||25|
|8||9||Caltex Racing||Russell Ingall||22|
|9||22||Holden Racing Team||Todd Kelly||21|
|10||55||Autobarn Racing||Steve Owen||21|
Murphy (DNF’d race two), Richards, Johnson (who DNF’d race three with a blown motor), Ingall (who lingered at the tail of the field all weekend), and Owen (who??) all managed to keep things together for at least two of the weekend’s three races, sufficient to garner points. This is the name of the game. It’s no longer a cut-and-thrust fight to the front and hasn’t been for at least three years. Toll/HSV might be top dogs at the moment, but even one or two bad rounds, and they too can fall into neverland. Jamie Whincup hit the nail right on the head when he said after race three, that everyone bleeds. No-one is unbeatable.
So, that’s round four and I for one am so glad it’s over with. I hate short sprint races in the rain and even more so at Winton. It’s a dog of a circuit and seriously ought to be dropped from the series, but in the dry, it does have small saving graces in passing opportunities. Final championship standings after the fourth round as follows:
|1||1||Toll HSV Dealer Team||Rick Kelly||224|
|2||16||Toll HSV Dealer Team||Garth Tander||223|
|3||88||Team Vodafone||Jamie Whincup||168|
|4||22||Holden Racing Team||Todd Kelly||153|
|5||4||Stone Brothers Racing||James Courtney||112|
|6||2||Holden Racing Team||Mark Skaife||104|
|7||888||Team Vodafone||Craig Lowndes||104|
|8||17||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||103|
|9||9||Caltex Racing||Russell Ingall||97|
|10||18||Jim Beam Racing||Will Davison||90|
Good to see DJR, HRT and Triple Eight still with both cars in the top ten. Next round at Eastern Creek over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, here in Queensland anyway, June 9 to 11. Three weeks and GRM have Lee Holdsworth’s car to completely rebuild. Good luck with it, chaps