Jamie Whincup has strengthened his grip on the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship trophy by winning the first of three races for the weekend in Abu Dhabi.
The TeamVodafone Holden driver passed pole-sitter Will Davison partway through the first of 12 laps and was not headed for the duration.
Davison also slipped behind Shane van Gisbergen by the end of Lap 1, but was soon able to retake the position, eventually finishing 4.1s behind Whincup in second.
Van Gisbergen dropped a further 5.1s in arrears to finish third ahead of team-mates Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth.
Mark Winterbottom, Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, James Moffat and Jonathon Webb completed the top 10.
Winterbottom ran as low as ninth early but proved increasingly competitive as the laps progressed, setting his personal fastest lap on the final tour.
The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon pilot now trails Whincup by 250 points heading into Race 25 later today.
Alex Premat found himself at the back of the field after being turned around in a Lap 2 fracas with Tony D’Alberto and James Courtney. D’Alberto attempted to pass Courtney into the Turn 7 hairpin on the second lap, tagging both Holdens in the process. The contact damaged Courtney’s front-suspension, forcing him out of the race.
Rick Kelly also took minor damage in the incident before heading to the pits mid-race with smoke emanating from his Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden. The 2006 champion later returned to the circuit to finish three laps down in 27th.
Steve Owen was also not immune from the sprint race fisticuffs, with the VIP Petfoods Ford turned around by David Reynolds in a battle for 14th on Lap 3. Owen went on to finish 23rd, 10 places behind Reynolds.
Race 24 was completed solely on the hard compound Dunlop rubber, with soft tyres to be used in Races 25 and 26.
See below for the full Race 24 result
|1||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:05.2950|
|2||Trading Post FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:09.3950|
|3||SP Tools Racing||Shane Van Gisbergen||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:14.5060|
|4||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:15.9290|
|5||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:18.9220|
|6||Orrcon Steel FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:20.1930|
|7||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:21.1220|
|8||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:23.1460|
|9||Team Norton DJR||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:25.5500|
|10||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:29.4130|
|11||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:29.6340|
|12||Tekno Autosports||Michael Patrizi||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:31.6850|
|13||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:31.7360|
|14||Team Hiflex||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:32.0030|
|15||Dick Johnson Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:35.2950|
|16||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:38.1920|
|17||Dick Johnson Racing||Dean Fiore||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:41.7990|
|18||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:44.3650|
|19||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:47.0280|
|20||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:48.0190|
|21||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:48.4880|
|22||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:51.2760|
|23||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||12||27:54.3740|
|24||Kelly Racing||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:55.7820|
|25||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:57.3600|
|26||Team iSelect||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VE2||12||27:57.9780|
|27||Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||9||28:41.0250|
|DNF||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VE2||1||2:23.5680|
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Abu Dhabi Race Guide