x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Jamie Whincup's wins edge him closer to Supercars title

Will Davison, who started both races on pole, was left frustrated he was not able to push the leader harder.

Team Vodafone Holden Commodore’s Jamie Whincup won both races yesterday after starting in second place.
Team Vodafone Holden Commodore’s Jamie Whincup won both races yesterday after starting in second place.

ABU DHABI // Jamie Whincup could be forgiven for lobbying the Australian V8 Supercar championship chiefs to have more rounds at Yas Marina Circuit after maintaining his excellent record at the track.

The Australian made it five wins from six attempts in his Triple Eight Race Engineering car as he dominated both races yesterday to extend his lead in the championship as he looks for his fourth title in the series.

He had won twice at the circuit in 2010 and once in 2011 on the past two trips the series has made to Abu Dhabi.

Starting second in both races, behind the pole-sitter Will Davison, he was in front before the end of the first lap and was never headed.

With his nearest championship rival Mark Winterbottom struggling, with finishes of fourth and sixth in the two races, Whincup now has a 270-point lead with five races of the season remaining, the first of which is today's third race of the weekend at Yas Marina.

But Whincup, despite his superb form, is not taking anything for granted.

"I have been in the position before fighting for the championship," he said. "We had a good day today but we are not getting ahead of ourselves."

The key to Whincup's superiority was strong starts in both races.

In the first race he got alongside Davison into the first turn, only for his rival to bravely run around the outside of him and hold on the lead. But Whincup was not to be denied as he dived down the inside of Davison at Turn 8 and pulled away.

Whincup made an even better start in the second race as he was level with Davison immediately and was ahead by the exit of the first turn and won the 12-lap race comfortably.

Davison finished second in both races in his Ford Falcon Racing car, and he was frustrated that he had not been able to push Whincup harder.

"I am disappointed I couldn't make it a better race," he said. "Jamie just had a little more. I got up to him once when he made a mistake but he just had more pace than us."

Davison will start on pole again in today's race, which starts at 1.30pm, and he is hopeful he can at least end Whincup's winning ways in Abu Dhabi.

"We will have a look at the car tonight and see if we can get a little more for the final race," he said.

Shane van Gisbergen was third in both races in his Stones Brother Racing car.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

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