Craig Lowndes has won the opening race of the Coates Hire Ipswich 300, his first win of the year and his seventh at Queensland Raceway.
Starting from pole, the TeamVodafone driver led from start to finish, but was pushed hard all the way by Lucky 7 Racing's Tim Slade who crossed the line just under a second behind to record his first podium finish.
“It's great to get the win being here at our home track,” said Lowndes after the race.
“The competition is so tough and after seeing a lot of the Victorian teams come here in the past and do so well, hopefully it’s our turn to take the trophy home!”
With no stops for fuel or tyres the 22 lap sprint was an intense affair with multiple battles throughout the field.
After losing ground at the start dropping from fourth to sixth into the first corner, series leader Jamie Whincup quickly worked his way up to third by the seventh lap passing Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing's Karl Reindler on the first lap, Jack Daniel's Racing's Rick Kelly on lap three and lastly Fujitsu Racing GRM driver Lee Holdsworth, but he was unable make any inroads on the two leaders.
After a five-lap long battle, Rick Kelly got the better of Holdsworth on lap 16 going on to claim fourth from VIP Petfoods driver Steve Owen. Making up ten positions, was Pepsi-Max Crew's Greg Murphy who finished an impressive sixth ahead of Holdsworth, Jim Beam Racing's Steve Johnson and Karl Reindler. Benefitting from strong tyre life, the big mover was Jim Beam Racing's James Moffat, racing from 22nd to 10th in his first main series race at his home test track.
Race one results determine the starting grid for the second event and the teams only have a 15-minute service window to fix the cars and grid up again before race two gets underway.
Race 16 Results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||3||01:11:0506||26:21:5763||22||75|
|2||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||2||01:11:1221||26:22:5513||22||69|
|3||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||2||01:11:4727||26:28:4154||22||65|
|4||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||2||01:11:6397||26:38:8654||22||60|
|5||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||6||01:11:6874||26:43:4811||22||56|
|6||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||6||01:11:8404||26:45:8399||22||51|
|7||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||2||01:11:4898||26:48:0069||22||48|
|8||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||6||01:12:0559||26:48:0341||22||45|
|9||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||4||01:11:8018||26:49:4417||22||42|
|10||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||4||01:11:9226||26:50:3086||22||39|
|11||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||6||01:11:8957||26:52:0448||22||36|
|12||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||4||01:12:0127||26:52:7147||22||35|
|13||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||3||01:12:0731||26:53:5223||22||33|
|14||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||4||01:11:9667||26:53:5496||22||32|
|15||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Falcon FG||7||01:12:2486||26:54:6473||22||30|
|16||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||10||01:12:2648||26:55:1183||22||29|
|17||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||5||01:12:2287||26:55:9491||22||27|
|18||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||8||01:12:1738||26:56:7640||22||26|
|19||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||8||01:12:2494||26:58:4863||22||24|
|20||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Commodore VE2||8||01:12:3888||26:59:6601||22||23|
|21||Team Boc||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||11||01:12:1002||26:59:8940||22||21|
|22||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||8||01:12:0355||27:00:0673||22||20|
|23||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||9||01:12:3242||27:00:4550||22||18|
|24||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||8||01:12:5117||27:01:6857||22||17|
|25||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Falcon FG||10||01:12:6352||27:04:3700||22||15|
|26||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||3||01:12:2986||27:10:8973||22||14|
|27||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||4||01:12:7602||27:20:2781||22||12|
|28||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Commodore VE||8||01:12:1037||27:45:0830||22||11|