In his 100th championship start, Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup, secured the win in the first race of the 2011 V8 Supercar season – his third victory from as many starts at the Yas Marina circuit.
Craig Lowndes had secured pole position for the Yas V8 400 with team-mate Jamie Whincup lining up second, but it was Alex Davison of Stone Brothers Racing starting from third, who was the big winner from the start getting the jump on both Vodafone-backed cars as Lowndes faltered on the line.
Davison's lead was soon cut-short though as Whincup wasted no time in catching up and passing before the end of the opening lap. And just as he had last year, Whincup streaked away, winning by a massive 13 second margin, and leaving Lowndes in the sister car trailing in seventh place.
Davison eventually won the battle for second, having duelled with Mark Winterbottom in the Ford Performance Racing car for most of the race. After the first round of pit-stops, Winterbottom had gained the advantage, but an error in the pits in the second stop handed Davison the second place and his first podium since Hidden Valley in 2009.
At the other end of the grid, Davison's younger brother Will, lost control of his Ford Performance Racing car on the first lap, hitting a trackside sign and spinning back onto the track. Incredibly, the entire field managed to evade him. Emerging unscathed, Will Davison recovered from last position to come home 12th.
With Winterbottom taking third, Stone Brothers Racing team-mates Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade rounded out the top-five, the first time in the Stone Brothers V8 Supercars history that three of its cars have finished inside the top five in a race.
It wasn't such a great day for reigning champion James Courtney and his new Toll HRT team, after a collision on the first lap with Brad Jones Racing driver Jason Bargwanna, forced him into the pits to repair a broken steering arm. He was to eventually finish second last, four laps down.
Speaking after the race, Jamie Whincup said: “It's been a big week. We come here each year and seem to get off to a good start. There's a lot going on behind the scenes and trying to keep these soft tyres alive and my car seemed to do it better than most.”
Race 1 Results (43 laps)
|1||88||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|2||4||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|3||5||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|4||9||SP Tools Racing||Shane Van Gisbergen||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|5||47||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|6||2||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|7||888||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|8||61||Huzzah Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|9||33||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|10||7||Kelly Racing||Todd Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|11||17||Dick Johnson Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|12||6||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|13||15||Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|14||49||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|15||34||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|16||18||Dick Johnson Racing||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|17||16||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|18||3||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|19||14||Team BOC||Jason Bargwanna||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|20||19||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|21||11||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VE2||43|
|22||12||Trple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Ford Falcon FG||43|
|23||30||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VE2||42|
|24||39||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VE2||42|
|25||55||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Ford Falcon FG||39|
|26||1||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VE2||39|
|DNF||21||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VE2||41|
|DNF||8||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VE2||20|
Fastest Lap: Jamie Whincup, 1:57.8540