Maiden race winner Jonathon Webb credits his first V8 Supercars win to a super strategy call from his team after a dramatic race at the Sydney Telstra 500.
Webb's crew were the first to put wet tyres on their car, elevating it from an also-ran to a debutant winner amongst a race of carnage, thanks mostly to changeable weather conditions at the Homebush track.
The former Fujitsu V8 Series winner said that he did not expect to be standing on the top step of the podium.
“I certainly didn't think we'd get the win,” he said.
“We had a good car yesterday (Friday) in the dry. This morning I made a couple of mistakes on the slick roads. Unfortunately, I qualified 21st which is not where we want to be. We probably didn't deserve to be done there, but my little mistake put us down there.
“But on a street circuit, it was up to me to just to push on and stay out of trouble. It was going to be up to me to push on.
“We were hoping our strategy would get us to the front, and we weren't expecting the rain.
“My engineer Geoff (Slater) made a brilliant decision by putting me on wets, and it was really make or break. With the weather that came, we were in the best spot.”
Webb had to negotiate 11 stricken cars at the major turn five crash, and once in front of the pack, he knew the race was his for the taking.
“I knew it was my race to lose – I had the lead, I had reasonable pace and good tyres. I just had to keep it off the walls, stay out of trouble and we were fortunate enough to win,” he said.
“It's amazing. It shows how hard all the boys have worked this year.
“We came away with the Fujitsu V8 Series last year which was a massive boost to my confidence. We went to the Middle East, had a top 10 there, come home 12th in the championship – things have really kicked on quite well for us.”
Webb has completed every lap of every V8 race this season. His consistency, plus a handful of top 10 results, has elevated him to 12th in the championship.
While Webb appreciated the victory, he said he was paying close attention to those drivers around him to see if he could sneak up any more positions in the title.
“In the championship, I know (Tim) Slade is one of the guys who is really close to us,” he said.
“Once I saw him take himself out, it took a bit of the pressure off. I just wanted to push on from there.
“I couldn't be happier for anyone – it was like a win for me,” he said.
“I was stoked for him, he's done a great job all year and I know how special it is to stand up on the top – not many get to do it.
“It was an awesome job from Webby when everyone else got a bit excited Webby kept his head, did the job that we're supposed to do, and held the trophy.”
See below for Speedcafe.com.au's exclusive video with the top three drivers in Race 25 at the Sydney Telstra 500.