Jamie Whincup (Photo Credit: Team Vodafone)

Jamie Whincup (Photo Credit: Team Vodafone)

Jamie Whincup has extended the gap at the top of the V8 Supercar Championship table with a dominant win in today’s opening race of the Falken Tasmania Challenge.

Finishing 8.7 seconds clear of TeamVodafone team-mate and nearest championship rival, Craig Lowndes, the series leader recorded his eighth win of the season and his 50th championship victory to take a 155-point lead in
the series.

Starting from pole, Whincup was beaten off the line by Orrcon Steel FPR's Mark Winterbottom, but with Winterbottom suffering mid-corner understeer at turn six, just ten laps later, Whincup seized back the lead. From there on, he was never troubled, smashing the restart and assuming control of the race after a half-distance safety-car period when Greg Murphy's Pepsi Max Crew Holden lost its rear right wheel on lap 24.

“This is the start of the end, we wanted to come out strong and that’s exactly what’s happened. The car was fantastic and I couldn’t be happier,” said Whincup.

“Frosty got me at the start which was disappointing, but we fought on and both TeamVodafone cars were unbelievably strong today.

“Every race is unbelievably important from here on in and we need to keep doing a good solid job.”

While Whincup cruised to victory, teammate Lowndes spent much of the race battling with Shane Van Gisbergen, until a lock-up on lap 32 while pressuring Will Davison sent the SP Tools Racing Falcon tumbling back down the order.

Davison, who had jumped from fifth to second in the Trading Post FPR Falcon by taking just two tyres in his stop, held Lowndes at bay but lost position with just eight laps to go as Lowndes slipped through at turn six in an identical move to the one Whincup had pulled on Winterbottom earlier in the race.

Starting from 10th, Toll Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander had made ground in the early stages and he snatched the final podium spot when Winterbottom ran deep at hairpin trying to pass his teammate Davison.

Winterbottom and Davison came home close together in fourth and fifth, while Irwin Racing's Alex Davison, Shane van Gisbergen, Bundaberg Racing's Fabian Coulthard, Fujitsu Racing GRM's Michael Caruso and Toll Holden Team Racing's James Courtney rounded out the top ten.

A longer 200km race takes place on Sunday after a fresh qualifying session in the morning.

Race 23 results:

Pos Entrant Driver Vehicle Fastest Lap Fastest Lap Time Race Time Laps

Points

1 TeamVodafone Jamie
Whincup
Commodore
VE2
8 00:52:0641 45:48:4135 50 150
2 TeamVodafone Craig
Lowndes
Commodore
VE2
19 00:52:0280 45:57:1538 50 138
3 Toll
Holden Racing Team
Garth
Tander
Commodore
VE2
23 00:52:0078 46:00:3676 50 129
4 Orrcon
Steel FPR Falcon
Mark
Winterbottom
Falcon
FG
22 00:52:0565 46:00:5722 50 120
5 Trading
Post FPR Falcon
Will
Davison
Falcon
FG
4 00:52:1897 46:01:1301 50 111
6 Irwin
Racing
Alex
Davison
Falcon
FG
31 00:52:1402 46:02:8041 50 102
7 SP
Tools Racing
Shane
van Gisbergen
Falcon
FG
23 00:52:0272 46:06:7000 50 96
8 Bundaberg
Racing
Fabian
Coulthard
Commodore
VE2
23 00:52:2734 46:08:0639 50 90
9 Fujitsu
Racing GRM
Michael
Caruso
Commodore
VE2
20 00:52:3897 46:09:3683 50 84
10 Toll
Holden Racing Team
James
Courtney
Commodore
VE2
23 00:52:3197 46:09:5684 50 78
11 Jack
Daniel’s Racing
Todd
Kelly
Commodore
VE2
22 00:52:3141 46:09:7091 50 72
12 Lucky
7 Racing
Tim
Slade
Falcon
FG
5 00:52:5761 46:10:2384 50 69
13 The
Bottle-O Racing Team
Paul
Dumbrell
Falcon
FG
18 00:52:1240 46:12:6981 50 66
14 Jack
Daniel’s Racing
Rick
Kelly
Commodore
VE2
23 00:52:4710 46:13:0439 50 63
15 Wilson
Security Racing
Tony
D’Alberto
Falcon
FG
7 00:52:5308 46:15:3202 50 60
16 Fujitsu
Racing GRM
Lee
Holdsworth
Commodore
VE2
23 00:52:0672 46:15:4030 50 57
17 VIP
Petfoods
Steve
Owen
Commodore
VE2
21 00:52:6163 46:16:7990 50 54
18 Jana
Living Racing
Jason
Bargwanna
Commodore
VE2
21 00:52:6583 46:19:0737 50 51
19 Triple
F Racing
Dean
Fiore
Falcon
FG
6 00:52:7313 46:20:2875 50 48
20 Jim
Beam Racing
James
Moffat
Falcon
FG
22 00:52:7220 46:20:7530 50 45
21 Mother
Energy Racing Team
Jonathon
Webb
Falcon
FG
31 00:52:7464 46:24:3044 50 42
22 Stratco
Racing
David
Reynolds
Commodore
VE2
6 00:52:5663 46:24:5221 50 39
23 Jim
Beam Racing
Steven
Johnson
Falcon
FG
22 00:52:7671 46:26:3068 50 36
24 Fair
Dinkum Sheds Racing
Karl
Reindler
Commodore
VE2
30 00:52:9025 46:26:7521 50 33
25 Team
BOC
Jason
Bright
Commodore
VE2
5 00:52:4678 46:31:0243 50 30
26 Gulf
Western Oil Racing
Warren
Luff
Commodore
VE2
12 00:52:7219 46:29:1078 44 27
DNF Supercheap
Auto Racing
Russell
Ingall
Commodore
VE2
11 00:52:7690 22:07:6164 24 0
DNF Pepsi
Max Crew
Greg
Murphy
Commodore
VE2
6 00:52:5777 20:16:9120 22 0