Australia’s V8 Supercars championship will go down to the final race of the season in two weeks at Sydney.
This weekend at Phillip Island, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup split victories in the penultimate round of 2013. But with one race to go, Whincup (pictured) holds a 20-point edge over Lowndes. Bathurst 1000 winner Mark Winterbottom (-124 points) and Will Davison (-223 points) are still in contention for the title as well.
In Race 1, Lowndes took the lead from teammate Whincup with six laps to go and went on to win by one second. But in Race 2, Whincup charged from fifth on the starting grid to the point on Lap 2 and then endured multiple safety car periods before hanging on for the victory.
“It’s all going to come down to the last race,” Whincup said of the championship according to the Supercars’ official web site. “I think it’s a good script and it’s going to be a good battle. It’s not just going to be…us out doing it easy, the other guys will all be in for a scrap.
“There’s no margin really, we have all got an opportunity. It is so easy in Sydney to DNF or have a bad run. The three of us have got equal opportunity.”
The final battleground for Whincup, Lowndes, Winterbottom and Davison will be the Sydney 500 from Dec. 6-8 on a 2.2-mile street circuit that winds through Sydney’s Olympic Park.
Whincup, the defending series champion, will be gunning for his fifth Supercar title, Lowndes his fourth, and Winterbottom and Davison each, their first. It bears noting that Lowndes and Davison split wins in last year’s season-finale at Sydney.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”