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HomeNewsWhincup explains late-race drama, hails salvage mission

Whincup explains late-race drama, hails salvage mission

TRIPLE Eight team principal Jamie Whincup says a late-race disagreement involving Shane van Gisbergen should not detract from a stunning get-out-of-jail mission in Townsville.

As Anton De Pasquale coasted to a long-awaited win for Dick Johnson Racing and Ford, the focus in Sunday’s race turned to a scrap between van Gisbergen and teammate Broc Feeney and the subsequent negotiating via radio.

Having passed Feeney for fourth on Lap 82 of 88, van Gisbergen was aggrieved by an instruction to give the place back if he was unable to catch and pass Andre Heimgartner ahead.

Van Gisbergen ultimately adhered, slowing just before the finish line to cede position to Feeney, who had dropped back on fading tyres.

“There was a misunderstanding between Shane and the team of what we were trying to achieve,” Whincup told V8 Sleuth.

“So we made the call in the last stint that coming from 13th and last, let’s consolidate fourth and fifth and not murder each other to have the same result basically.

“At the time it was hold position and finish where we did. That was the communication and that’s what eventually transpired.”

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Whincup, of course, can relate to van Gisbergen from his many years behind the wheel – including a similar type of situation in the penultimate solo race of his career at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2021.

“I get both sides. It’s just a communication thing… sometimes the interpretation between the garage and the car varies and that’s what happened today,” said Whincup.

“But overall I don’t want that to put a dampener on what we did today.”

What they did was remarkably keep Erebus Motorsport’s teams’ championship lead to 91 points with a double top five finish.

That came despite Feeney and van Gisbergen qualifying 13th and 25th respectively and things unravelling further on Lap 1 as the #88 driver lost three places and the #97 was spun.

“To end fourth and fifth from there, my god, we should have a smile on our face and not let the little issue that happened at the end there be a deterrent to what we did today,” said Whincup.

“It was going to be a really bad day for us after qualifying and we were able to turn it around and salvage some really good points, so from my perspective I couldn’t be happier.”

The season is now at the midway point, with six of 12 rounds complete.

Next up is Sydney Motorsport Park on July 28-30.

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