V8 Supercars Abu Dhabi Race 1

Picture: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images
Jamie Whincup leads the Drivers Championship with three rounds left. Picture: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images
Jamie Whincup  will be bidding to improve on his tremendous record in Abu Dhabi when he faces the starter in the first of three V8 Supercar sprint races on Saturday. The Holden driver has won three of the four previous races at the Yas Marina Circuit, but this is the first time that results will count towards the season-long Championship in which he has a 218 point lead over Mark Winterbottom . Unlike previous years, each race will see drivers pilot their cars around 12 laps of the full 5.5km Grand Prix circuit, rather than the 4.73km track they raced on in 2010 and 2011 as the V8 races act as the curtain-raiser for the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Whincup’s Triple Eight Race Engineering teammate Craig Lowndes  needs a good showing to remain in Championship contention, while Will Davison , who won the Armor All Gold Coast 600 a fortnight ago has already won seven races in 2012. James Courtney  was a shock winner of race 2 in Abu Dhabi last year and will hope that his affinity with the track can lead to a good result after what has been a largely disappointing season.

Click here to bet on V8 Supercars Abu Dhabi Race 1