Thursday, December 06, 2007

What a difference a year makes

This time last year the top two teams in V8 Supercars were squabbling over the championship results after appeals had been filed. An incident during one of the races between the two championship contenders, Ford's Craig Lowndes and Holden's Rick Kelly, threw Kelly's championship win into doubt. On the forums insults were being hurled as supporters of the two drivers variously called the other one a "cheat", "sore loser", "cry-baby", "talentless" and other derogatory things.

The situation was quickly settled with Kelly's win upheld. Ford fans remained incensed.

The 2007 finale once again saw the same two teams battling, but with the other team-mates in the hotseat, Jamie Whincup for Triple 8 Ford and Garth Tander for Toll HSV Holden. After three races that seemed to indicate NO-ONE wanted to win, Tander came in trailing Whincup by 7 points. By the start of the third race of the weekend it was Whincup who was 7 points behind.

It was a true nail-biter of a battle. Passing was scarce, but the title was so finely-balanced that any small error from either driver could have had massive implications. There was hardly any unsavoury antics, except from Craig Lowndes whose pass on Tander was questionable at best, and it finished with no acrimony. Whincup did all he could but couldn't quite make back the 7-point deficit and graciously conceded to Tander. Both drivers behaved with dignity after the race, offering heartfelt compliments to the other. It was nice to see such class in a racing series that often allows emotions to get in the way of good sportsmanship.

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