Jack Daniel’s Racing’s Rick Kelly profited from a restart tangle to snatch an unlikely victory in the opening race of the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
In what had been a relatively uneventful race, Kelly who had started in twelfth, was handed the win in dramatic fashion.
Until a Tim Slade breakdown brought out the safety- car, the top three had remained unchanged for 35 laps. But a moment of chaos at the restart two laps later saw all three – Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom, Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup and SP Tools Racing’s Shane Van Gisbergen all go off the circuit. After a slow run on to the front straight by Winterbottom, the top four had run side-by-side heading into the left-hand turn one, when they came together. Kelly avoided the skirmish and jumped from fifth to first taking his second victory of the season and the 11th race win of his career.
“I can’t believe that just happened!” exclaimed Kelly.
“You’re allowed to overlap after the last corner and everyone did. I thought I braked too early into turn one. Our tyre life was not as good as the top three so we were lucky to get it. We’re lucky, but we’re stoked.”
Jim Beam Racing’s Steven Johnson and Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes also benefited from the drama up front, finishing second and third.
Fujitsu Racing GRM’s Lee Holdsworth grabbed fourth and Trading Post FPR’s Will Davison took fifth. Davison had started in 20th but gained several places by pitting before the first of the three safety-car deployments.
Rounding out the top-ten were Wilson Security Racing’s Tony D’Alberto, van Gisbergen recovering to seventh, Jana Living Racing’s Jason Bargwanna, Whincup and VIP Petfoods’ Steve Owen. A furious Winterbottom had to settle for 15th.
Race 12 results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||3||01:11:3532||54:30:8593||42||150|
|2||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||6||01:11:6912||54:33:3710||42||138|
|3||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||6||01:11:4547||54:35:3864||42||129|
|4||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||2||01:11:7131||54:36:3440||42||120|
|5||Trading Post FPR
|Will Davison||Falcon FG||6||01:12:0633||54:36:9235||42||111|
|6||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Falcon FG||4||01:11:7705||54:37:2993||42||102|
|7||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||4||01:11:3992||54:37:5022||42||96|
|8||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||4||01:11:8886||54:38:1625||42||90|
|9||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||4||01:11:3263||54:39:3118||42||84|
|10||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||3||01:11:5935||54:43:7170||42||78|
|11||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||2||01:11:5932||54:43:7896||42||72|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||3||01:11:6908||54:43:8597||42||69|
|13||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||17||01:12:1021||54:44:3472||42||66|
|14||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||3||01:12:1748||54:44:7099||42||63|
|15||Orrcon Steel FPR
|Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||4||01:11:2661||54:46:4815||42||60|
|16||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||19||01:12:2112||54:47:8562||42||57|
|17||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||6||01:12:1281||54:48:3943||42||54|
|18||Toll Holden Racing
|Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||22||01:11:7613||54:49:2639||42||51|
|19||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||3||01:12:0326||54:49:5881||42||48|
|20||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||4||01:11:5221||54:53:2873||42||45|
|21||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||3||01:11:4523||54:53:7499||42||42|
|22||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||39||01:11:2620||54:54:0242||42||39|
|Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||39||01:11:1796||54:54:8928||42||36|
|24||Gulf Western Oil
|Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||3||01:12:3154||54:50:6604||41||33|
|25||Toll Holden Racing
|James Courtney||Commodore VE2||3||01:12:2046||54:50:8643||40||30|
|DNF||Fair Dinkum Sheds
|Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||4||01:12:2250||51:13:7427||38||0|
|DNF||Team Boc||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||4||01:11:5924||11:00:8510||9||0|
|DNF||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||4||01:11:8157||11:01:9188||9||0|