Just ten races in to the V8 Supercar season and it was a fifth win for Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup at the Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria.
Starting from third, championship leader Whincup gained a spot on the track hauling in Fujitsu Racing GRM driver Lee Holdsworth on lap 13. Trailing Steven Johnson into the pit stops, Whincup's decision to pit early on lap 14, was an inspired one. Gaining an incredible five seconds, he rejoined the track ahead of the Jim Beam Racing driver, cleverly managing his tyres to lead the field home.
The win moves Whincup 220 points clear of team-mate Craig Lowndes, who started on pole but lost the lead on the first lap and ran off the road late in the race to finish eleventh.
“You never know what you are going to get at Winton,” said Whincup.
“I'm so happy to come back in the race. Our guys did an awesome pit stop and that's what got us out in front.”
In a thrilling drag race off the last corner, Holdsworth edged out Johnson to the line by just 0.03s to finish second, while Jack Daniels Racing's Rick Kelly and The Bottle-O Racing Team's Paul Dumbrell rounded out the top five.
Pit-stop strategies determined the final order with Irwin Racing's Alex Davison taking sixth after jumping four cars during the pit stop period and passing Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander and Jason Bright late in the race. Team BOC driver, Bright, who pitted on lap 20, finished seventh, but the stand-out drive went to Toll Holden Racing Team's James Courtney. Having started in 19th, Courtney stayed out on the track until lap 23, before charging up the order over the closing laps to finish in eighth.
Orrcon Steel FPR's Mark Winterbottom and Bundaberg Racing's Fabian Coulthard rounded out the top 10.
The 67-lap race two takes place on Sunday (22 May), with a qualifying session to determine grid position before the race.
Race 10 results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||8||01:23:9994||01:01:09:0173||40||150|
|2||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||6||01:23:9124||01:01:13:8551||40||138|
|3||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||6||01:23:6009||01:01:13:8881||40||129|
|4||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||22||01:23:8958||01:01:16:7235||40||120|
|5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||6||01:23:8996||01:01:19:4414||40||111|
|6||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||28||01:24:3280||01:01:21:9546||40||102|
|7||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||23||01:23:8060||01:01:22:1059||40||96|
|8||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Commodore VE2||25||01:23:6226||01:01:25:0216||40||90|
|9||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||7||01:24:3317||01:01:27:0954||40||84|
|10||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||6||01:24:1789||01:01:27:9643||40||78|
|11||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||20||01:23:5070||01:01:31:5075||40||72|
|12||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||16||01:23:5518||01:01:32:6085||40||69|
|13||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Falcon FG||7||01:24:5393||01:01:33:3027||40||66|
|14||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||24||01:23:6317||01:01:34:3913||40||63|
|15||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||19||01:23:5791||01:01:35:7469||40||60|
|16||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||20||01:23:1047||01:01:36:1540||40||57|
|17||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||19||01:24:0970||01:01:37:3030||40||54|
|18||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||5||01:24:5258||01:01:37:6025||40||51|
|19||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||22||01:24:4476||01:01:39:7854||40||48|
|20||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||27||01:24:4667||01:01:45:3141||40||45|
|21||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||28||01:24:9124||01:01:45:7433||40||42|
|22||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||5||01:24:5054||01:01:46:8878||40||39|
|23||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||21||01:24:1183||01:01:50:3232||40||36|
|24||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||29||01:24:7625||01:01:52:3274||40||33|
|25||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||8||01:24:9118||01:02:15:2728||40||30|
|26||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Commodore VE2||9||01:26:2861||01:02:11:2527||34||27|
|DNF||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||1||02:01:6399||02:01:6399||1||0|
|DNF||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||–||00:00:0000||00:00:0000||0||0|