V8 Supercars: Whincup reignites title hopes with double win

Jamie Whincup is aiming to be the first man to win the Triple Crown in Darwin. Photo / Getty Images
Jamie Whincup is aiming to be the first man to win the Triple Crown in Darwin. Photo / Getty Images

V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup completed a perfect Saturday in Darwin to reignite his title defence.

The Holden driver won both 100km races at Hidden Valley Raceway from pole position yesterday to emphatically end a winless streak stretching back to the Tasmania 400 in March.

The double victory lifts Whincup to five wins for the year, two more than championship rivals Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom, and gives him 150 vital points.

"You've got to have a quick car to move up in the Championship and we had that," Whincup said. "We came up with a perfect day - two wins and two poles."

His eyes are fixed on the Triple Crown, which has never been won over the past 16 years of the event, where one driver sweeps all three races.

"We'll go out there tomorrow and do the best we can. It's a massive achievement. It's been going on for a decade and no one's won it. We'll give it a shot."

Winterbottom could claim only a pair of sixth-place finishes with Lowndes picking up two second placings on his 40th birthday to close the gap on the Ford driver at the top of the standings to just 65 points.

Whincup's points haul has kept him in fourth overall behind Winterbottom, Lowndes and surprise packet Fabian Coulthard but, importantly, he has picked up 48 points on Winterbottom.

Kiwi Coulthard continued his solid year by finishing third in Saturday's second race, a fifth podium of the season for the Lockwood Racing driver.

Shane van Gisbergen (Holden) was third and seventh in the two races to be sixth overall with fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin (Volvo) fourth and fifth to sit seventh in the overall standings.

Sunday's action begins with qualifying before the 69-lap 200km race.

- AAP

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