Craig Lowndes has taken a second successive clean sweep of the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 with back-to-back victories in round eight of the V8 Supercars Championship at Queensland Raceway.
Lowndes started from fourth but got the jump on team-mate Jamie Whincup off the line and then polesitter Tradingpost FPR’s Will Davison on the opening lap. Front row starter Mark Winterbottom had got the early lead with a move on team-mate Davison into the first corner, but Lowndes made the critical move overtaking Winterbottom on lap six (of 65) to take the top spot.
Despite plenty of pressure from his Ford rival and dealing with lapped traffic over much of the last 20 laps, Lowndes was never headed and he crossed the line two seconds clear of the Orrcon Steel FPR driver. The win was his fifth consecutive victory on this circuit and TeamVodafone's sixth consecutive race win in the title hunt.
“It’s been a wonderful weekend,” said Lowndes.
“We knew we were coming here with confidence but you never know.
“We knew FPR were going to bounce back from their performance of last year and they have been strong all year. In hindsight we can now reflect on it and we are really happy.”
In a repeat of the race one podium, Whincup came home third a further 14s adrift, with Winterbottom cutting Whincup’s championship lead by a further 12 points. Lowndes also chipped a total of 42 points from Whincup’s lead over the weekend to put him back into title contention.
Pole-sitter Davison struggled for pace in the early laps of the race and had to settle for fourth place, while Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard finished fifth after fending off sixth place man Russell Ingall for almost the entire race. Ingall's sixth place and a new circuit lap record capped off the Supercheap Auto Racing’s driver’s best weekend of the season.
With just two laps to go, SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen grabbed seventh from teammate Lucky 7 Racing's Tim Slade, with Fujitsu Racing GRM's Michael Caruso and VIP Petfoods' Steve Owen rounding out the top ten.
Jacques Villeneuve recovered well to finish 24th in his second outing in the Pepsi Max Crew Commodore after contact from behind by Wilson Security Racing's David Wall on the opening lap sent the Canadian careering across the infield.
An early puncture to his left rear following mid-race contact with Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander ensured a poor day for the ill David Reynolds and the Bottle-O Racing Team driver was the last finisher in 26th place.
Tekno Autosports' Jonathon Webb and IRWIN Racing's Lee Holdsworth were the race's only retirements. Webb with gearbox and clutch issues and Holdsworth after a sticking throttle and then clutch problems resulted in a fire erupting from the side-mounted exhausts of the Falcon.
The Series now moves on to Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly Eastern Creek) for the ninth round on 25 – 26 August.
Race 17 result:
|1||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:18:23.0855|
|2||Orrcon Steel FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:18:25.0614|
|3||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:18:39.2308|
|4||Trading Post FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:18:46.8078|
|5||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:18:55.6134|
|6||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:18:56.4045|
|7||SP Tools Racing||Shane Van Gisbergen||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:18:57.7599|
|8||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:18:59.1930|
|9||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:19:04.5473|
|10||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:19:18.2868|
|11||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:19:20.3540|
|12||Tekno Autosports||Michael Patrizi||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:19:20.7882|
|13||Team Hiflex||Tony D'Alberto||Ford Falcon FG||65||01:19:29.3162|
|14||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VE2||65||01:19:30.8377|
|15||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:28.0769|
|16||Jack Daniel's Racing||Todd Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:30.0032|
|17||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:30.9105|
|18||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:32.1275|
|19||Team Norton DJR||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG||64||01:18:34.8537|
|20||Jim Beam Racing||Dean Fiore||Ford Falcon FG||64||01:18:35.3388|
|21||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:37.5944|
|22||Team iSelect||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:38.5686|
|23||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:42.0785|
|24||Pepsi Max Crew||Jaques Villeneuve||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:18:52.3026|
|25||Jack Daniel's Racing||Rick Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||64||01:19:02.9705|
|26||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||62||01:18:23.7838|
|DNF||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Falcon FG||55||01:07:53.3336|
|DNF||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VE2||54||01:05:52.8327|