Jamie Whincup has reclaimed the V8 Supercar championship points lead taking Race 12 at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway, ending Ford Performance Racing's seven-race winning run in the process.
The TeamVodafone driver dropped to fifth with a poor getaway, but hauled in title rivals Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom before passing early race leader David Reynolds to assume the lead on lap 20. After pitting for soft tyres on lap 24, Whincup was quickly back in front and he was never headed from there, taking his 55th career win, 5.8 seconds clear of Trading Post FPR's Davison and Orrcon Steel FPR driver Winterbottom. The FPR pair ran the same tyre strategy as Whincup, but were unable to match Whincup's pace on either compound.
“I wouldn't say we've had a tough start to the year, but it's certainly had its challenges and we have been working through them,” Whincup said.
“Today is a good step forward, without a doubt. I'm very encouraged with what we have seen here today but we will keep our heads down and keep pushing on.
“The car was very good, it didn't matter what tyre it was on. It was set-up perfectly. It's an educated decision from the engineers to throw the roll bars and springs up in the air and come up with a combination and my race engineer did a perfect job of that today.
“It's certainly the quickest car of the year.”
Craig Lowndes who had started 20th after his worst ever Darwin qualifying performance was turned around in an incident on lap two, which eliminated Michael Caruso (Fujitsu Racing GRM) and David Russell (Pepsi Max Crew), but the TeamVodafone driver put in a stunning recovery drive to finish fourth.
Reynolds (The Bottle-O Racing Team), Tim Slade (Lucky 7 Racing), Shane van Gisbergen (SP Tools Racing), Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team), Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) and Lee Holdsworth (IRWIN Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Race 12 results:
|Trading Post FPR Ford||Will Davison||52:31:9506||42||138|
|Orrcon Steel FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||52:32:7476||42||129|
|The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||52:43:2055||42||111|
|Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||52:45:8093||42||102|
|SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||52:49:3857||42||96|
|Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||52:51:5828||42||90|
|Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||52:56:5186||42||84|
|Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||52:57:3137||42||78|
|Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||53:05:2321||42||72|
|Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||53:06:6094||42||69|
|Team BOC||Jason Bright||53:09:2322||42||66|
|VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||53:13:8992||42||63|
|Team Hiflex||Tony D’Alberto||53:15:2493||42||60|
|Tekno Autosports||Michael Patrizi||53:15:2733||42||57|
|Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||53:23:0640||42||54|
|Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||53:32:3664||42||51|
|Jim Beam Racing||Dean Fiore||53:33:7765||42||48|
|Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||53:34:5295||42||45|
|Team Norton DJR||James Moffat||53:38:5754||42||42|
|Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||52:58:4531||41||39|
|Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||53:26:8910||41||36|
|Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||53:34:8243||38||33|
|Team iSelect||Taz Douglas||33:41:6166||25||0|
|Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||12:19:1497||9||0|
|Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||04:07:5341||3||0|
|Pepsi Max Crew||David Russell||02:39:4175||2||0|