Will Davison has rounded out the 2012 V8 Supercars season with a commanding victory in today’s final race of the Sydney Telstra 500.
Davison, starting from second on the grid, seized the lead from pole-sitter Garth Tander with a gutsy move up the inside at the run between turn 4 and 5 on the second lap. After that, he was never contested, notching up his eighth victory in an impressive season for the Tradingpost Ford Performance Racing driver.
Crossing the line just over two seconds later, Craig Lowndes’ second-place finish sealed second spot in the Series. Despite being penalised 25 points in the opening race for avoidable contact with Tander, it was enough to deliver TeamVodafone a second successive one-two in the drivers’ championship.
Having lost out to Lowndes in the second and final round of pitstops, Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney took his second consecutive podium of the weekend with another third place.
Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade ended his exceptional the year with fourth place, while official 2012 Champion Jamie Whincup surged through to fifth after a disastrous qualifying session saw him start from 24th on the grid.
Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports), David Reynolds (The Bottle-O Racing Team), Steve Owen (VIP Petfoods), Jason Bright (TeamBOC), Steven Johnson (Jim Beam Racing) completed the top 10.
Mark Winterbottom had earlier been taken out of contention for second in the Championship when Team Norton DJR’s James Moffat forced him into the tyre barrier at turn one on the first lap. Recovering from the incident, the Orrcon Steel FPR pilot then suffered a mid-race puncture, eventually finishing 18th and third behind Lowndes in the series.
Tander had looked a podium candidate, but the pole-sitter was relegated to 16th after pitting with a puncture to his Holden Racing Team Holden while running in the top three.
Following several appearances in the first race, just two early safety car deployments were required over the 74-laps (250km). The first after clutch problems left Shane van Gisbergen’s SP Tools Racing Ford stranded on the back straight on the first lap in his farewell race; and the second when Tekno Autosports’ Michael Patrizi collided with Greg Murphy shortly after the restart, spinning the Pepsi Max Crew car into the Turn 10 exit wall.
The Homebush street circuit kept up its high attrition record with a further four retirements. Wilson Security Racing’s David Wall was spun by Russell Ingall (Supercheap Auto Racing) on lap 14 and then collected by Moffat at Turn 9. Ingall also later retired with a broken rear axle.
Gearbox problems cut short Tony D’Alberto’s (Team Hiflex) day on lap 33, while Fujitsu Racing GRM’s Michael Caruso retired at the start of the penultimate lap with front brake issues having been running in ninth.
Meanwhile, Caruso’s usual team-mate, Alexandre Premat was withdrawn still suffering from the effects of dehydration he suffered in the opening race. Scott McLaughlin, who had earlier wrapped up the Dunlop Series Championship for the team stepped in and put in a composed drive only marred by a pit-lane penalty for spinning his wheels during his first pit-stop to finish 17th.
This was the last time these current generation V8 Supercars will race in the Series, as the Championship switches to its new Car of the Future regulations for next season. Lining up alongside the Holden and Fords on the grid in Adelaide in February will be four factory-run Nissan Altimas and three AMG-prepared Mercedes-Benz entries.