TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup has edged closer to the V8 Supercars title with victory in the second race of the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains today.
The win also hands Holden its 400th championship race victory, and increases Whincup's series lead advantage over second-placed Craig Lowndes to 194 points with just two events remaining.
Starting from third on the grid, Whincup remained behind the battling front-runners, Bottle-O Racing Team's Paul Dumbrell and Orrcon Steel FPR's Mark
Winterbottom, throughout the opening stint. Whincup then pitted on lap 20, a lap earlier than the FPR pair, getting the jump on both of them as they narrowly avoided
each other when Dumbrell overshot the pit exit.
Trading Post FPR's Will Davison also benefitted from the first round of pit-stops climbing up to second from fifth. Having pitted at the same time as Whincup, he then mounted a challenge on the TeamVodafone driver. But Whincup held steady, fending off the pressure as well as surviving a major sideways moment heading onto the pit-straight to cross the finish line by 1.7 seconds over the FPR driver, with Winterbottom back in third.
“What an incredible weekend for us,” said Whincup.
“Every race is unbelievably important and we just need to keep our head down and keep the focus.
“Once again, I had a fantastic car and a big thanks to the crew. Roll on Sandown.”
Lowndes, who had started from 15th place on the grid after a poor qualifying session, made up ground and was another to profit from the early pit stop strategy, moving up to sixth in the first half of the race. Making a late pass on Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander on lap 71, he went on to finish in fifth place, just behind Dumbrell.
Despite the strong finish, Lowndes has given away valuable points to Whincup. They remain the only two in the hunt for the championship crown but there are a total of 600 points on offer in the closing two rounds, at Sandown next week and at the Sydney finale.
Rounding out the top 10 were Garth Tander, SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen, Jack Daniels Racing's Todd Kelly, Mother Energy Racing's Jonathan Webb and Bundaberg Racing's Fabian Coulthard.
Race 24 results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||
|1||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||3||00:52:1275||01:14:59:5652||84||150|
|2||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Falcon FG||24||00:52:1756||01:15:01:2893||84||138|
|3||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||55||00:51:9915||01:15:04:1572||84||129|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||26||00:52:0836||01:15:06:9827||84||120|
|5||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||22||00:52:1618||01:15:14:4666||84||111|
|6||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||22||00:52:1020||01:15:17:2840||84||102|
|7||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||6||00:52:3520||01:15:24:6976||84||96|
|8||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||23||00:52:4076||01:15:33:8147||84||90|
|9||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||66||00:52:3947||01:15:35:4978||84||84|
|10||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||29||00:52:3979||01:15:42:7924||84||78|
|11||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Commodore VE2||62||00:52:2714||01:15:45:3043||84||72|
|12||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||23||00:52:1995||01:15:45:7293||84||69|
|13||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||24||00:52:2220||01:15:45:7323||84||66|
|14||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||32||00:52:4785||01:15:45:9962||84||63|
|15||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||54||00:52:0887||01:15:53:3543||84||60|
|16||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Falcon FG||54||00:52:2636||01:15:02:3578||83||57|
|17||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||56||00:52:6043||01:15:09:4914||83||54|
|18||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||56||00:52:4099||01:15:10:5168||83||51|
|19||Team BOC||Cameron McConville||Commodore VE2||63||00:52:5017||01:15:12:6983||83||48|
|20||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||52||00:52:4883||01:15:15:2596||83||45|
|21||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||63||00:52:5903||01:15:18:1703||83||42|
|22||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||59||00:52:4713||01:15:21:0333||83||39|
|23||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||23||00:52:6585||01:15:25:1637||83||36|
|24||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||69||00:52:7173||01:15:25:4352||83||33|
|25||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||19||00:52:6095||01:15:30:3992||83||30|
|26||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||8||00:52:4373||01:15:05:9216||82||27|
|27||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||57||00:52:4512||01:15:19:2001||82||24|
|28||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||57||00:52:3138||01:15:30:8807||79||21|