Jamie Whincup bounced back from a disappointing opening race to win today’s 220km race at Sydney Motorsport Park and reclaim his series lead.
After losing the championship advantage to Mark Winterbottom following a disastrous 23rd place finish in the opening race, Whincup took the lead of Race 19 from second place on the grid and was never challenged.
Leading home teammate Craig Lowndes home in a TeamVodafone 1-2, Whincup recorded his first victory at the circuit and with it the V8 Supercars Championship lead, albeit by just one point.
The race also marked TeamVodafone’s eighth race win in a row and gave back the lead to Holden in the manufacturer’s title race.
“I got off the line well. The car was very, very strong on the hard and soft tyre and we led from the front. The strategy was good,” Whincup said.
“The only thing was we had to nurse the right front tyre as it wears out pretty quickly around here – we just had to keep that in cotton wool but from there it was good.
“It always comes down to a handful of points in the last race on the last day – it’s almost like it’s rigged! It’s always a dogfight and I think it will do it again.
“Whoever is going to be leading on the last lap of the last race is going to win it.”
Pole-sitter Lowndes slipped to second at the start of the race but maintained contact with Whincup until his first stop on Lap 16. Any opportunity Lowndes might have had to challenge his teammate though was lost after a rattle gun failure on the right rear cost Saturday’s winner over eight seconds to the race leader.
Losing a spot to Winterbottom in the process, Lowndes kept his composure, quickly regrouping to recover the position in the final stop. After his win in yesterday’s race the result keeps him firmly in the title hunt.
Orrcon Steel FPR’s Winterbottom made it back-to-back podium results finishing third to add to his second place result on Saturday.
Supercheap Auto Racing’s Russell Ingall finished an impressive fourth after opting for a different strategy to the front-runners. Starting on the soft tyres in the opening stint he gained valuable track position, running as high as third in the early stages of the race, before losing out to Winterbottom in the final round of stops.
Winterbottom’s teammate Tradingpost FPR’s Will Davison finished fifth to maintain third in the standings ahead of Lowndes.
Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard improved four places from his tenth-placed starting position to take sixth ahead of The Bottle-O Racing Team’s David Reynolds, the pair having trade punches for most of the race’s 56 laps. Team BOC’s Jason Bright fought back to claim eighth after a slow start dropped him from third to 11th on the opening lap; while Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander and James Courtney rounded out the top-ten, with Tander scoring a new lap record in the process.
In what is expected to be his final race in the Pepsi Max Crew entry before Greg Murphy makes his return, Jacques Villeneuve finished in a lapped 26th place.
All 28 cars finished the race with both races this weekend running without Safety Car intervention.
The championship’s next event is the Dick Smith Sandown 500, the first of the two-driver endurance races, on 14 -16 September.
Race 19 Results:
|1||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:27:43.9374|
|2||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:27:55.3802|
|3||Orrcon Steel FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:27:57.4950|
|4||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:00.8288|
|5||Trading Post FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:28:07.9734|
|6||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:08.8310|
|7||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:28:11.5630|
|8||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:11.9560|
|9||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:13.3355|
|10||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:29.6729|
|11||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:41.2585|
|12||Tekno Autosports||Michael Patrizi||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:45.7430|
|13||SP Tools Racing||Shane Van Gisbergen||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:28:48.2606|
|14||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:28:50.4332|
|15||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:28:58.8979|
|16||Team Norton DJR||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:29:01.2681|
|17||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VE2||56||01:29:01.4500|
|18||Jim Beam Racing||Dean Fiore||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:29:09.4087|
|19||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:29:12.1495|
|20||Team Hiflex||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG||56||01:29:12.1777|
|21||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Falcon FG||55||01:27:58.8141|
|22||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||55||01:27:58.8141|
|23||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||55||01:28:15.5386|
|24||Team iSelect||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VE2||55||01:28:17.0211|
|25||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VE2||55||01:28:38.6387|
|26||Pepsi Max Crew||Jaques Villeneuve||Holden Commodore VE2||55||01:28:39.1719|
|27||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VE2||55||01:29:15.6447|
|28||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VE2||52||01:28:00.2569|