Whincup Returns To The Top With Darwin Win

Whincup wins Race 12 in Darwin Photo credit: V8Supercars Media
Whincup wins Race 12 in Darwin Photo credit: V8Supercars Media

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:

TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 52:26:0743 42 150
Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 52:31:9506 42 138
Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 52:32:7476 42 129
TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 52:34:8991 42 120
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