Touring CarsV8 Supercars

Lowndes Back In Business With Back To Back Wins In Ipswich 300

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Craig Lowndes completes a clean sweep of the Ipswich 300 Photo credit: TeamVodafone

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
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Andy is our resident V8 Supercars reporter. He also runs the V8 Supercars fan site and works as a freelance motorsport writer (with experience in both the World and British Touring Car Championships). You can find him on Twitter at @andychampness or contact him via his website
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