Jamie Whincup has made it three from three in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix support triple-header to extend his lead in the championship as he looks for his fourth series title.
Whincup’s win takes his tally to 11 and bags the VE Commodore’s 100th win in V8 Supercars – the most for any car in the history of Australian touring car racing. The result also ensured Holden the V8 Supercars Manufacturers Championship.
Starting second behind pole-sitter Will Davison, as he had done in all three races, the TeamVodafone driver again outdragged Davison on the run to turn one, pulling away to wrap up his third straight win at the Yas Marina circuit.
Contact between the front-row pair at the start saw Tim Slade draw alongside and take second position from Davison into turn four and the Lucky 7 Racing driver held position for much of the race. A big sideways moment though for Slade on lap ten allowed Davison to dive through in the final corner to rack up a trio of second-position finishes for the Tradingpost FPR driver.
Slade completed the podium, leading home stable-mate Shane van Gisbergen in the SP Tool Racing entry, rounding off a strong weekend for the Stone Brothers Racing outfit.
Having started from seventh, Mark Winterbottom did his best to limit the points loss with a vital move on James Moffat on lap nine. Slicing up the inside of the Team Norton DJR driver and taking to the grass at Turn 11 Winterbottom grabbed fifth. Moffat, Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, IRWIN Racing’s Lee Holdsworth, Jack Daniel’s Racing’s Rick Kelly and Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard completed the top 10.
The race had earlier been halted on lap two after a crash involving Karl Reindler, Team BOC’s Jason Bright and Jim Beam Racing DJR’s Dean Fiore left Reindler’s Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Holden on fire.
The incident began when contact behind by Jonathon Webb’s Tekno Autosports Holden spun Bright around on the exit of turn 17 and into Reindler’s path. Fiore then collided with the rear of Reindler’s car, rupturing the fuel cell and causing it to catch fire.
All the drivers escaped unhurt but the damage forced all three cars into retirement. For Reindler though, it was the second time in 18 months that the Kelly Racing driver has been caught in a fiery wreck after his now famous start-line fire-ball accident at Barbagello circuit in Perth in 2011.
With just two rounds of the season (4 races) to go, Whincup now leads the championship by 296 points.
The Championship now moves on to Winton Motor Raceway for races 27 and 28 in two weeks’ time on 16-18 November.