Whincup wins, Winterbottom wobbles in Race 30

Sunday 8th November, 2015 - 3:35pm

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Jamie Whincup at Pukekohe

Jamie Whincup at Pukekohe

Jamie Whincup secured the Jason Richards Trophy with a dominant victory in the final race of the weekend at the ITM 500 Auckland.

The six-time champion was untouchable throughout the 69 lap contest, eventually taking the flag 4s ahead of team-mate Craig Lowndes.

A one-two finish proved the perfect result for Red Bull Racing Australia after being forced into a major rebuild on Lowndes’ car overnight.

Scott Pye completed the podium, taking the first top three finish for himself and DJR Team Penske in front of team owner Roger Penske.

David Reynolds was fourth, further closing the points gap to championship leader Mark Winterbottom, who endured a troubled race.

Starting ninth, Winterbottom was turned around at the hairpin on the second lap, rejoining in last place.

The incident, which will be reviewed post-race, saw Jason Bright’s Holden tip the Ford into a spin in the middle of the pack.

Dropping to last, Winterbottom endured further scrapes with rivals including Garth Tander and Dale Wood before eventually recovering to finish 11th.

The results see Reynolds sit 239 points behind Winterbottom with two events and 600 points remaining, while Lowndes is just one point further adrift in third.

Differing fuel loads was the only strategic card in the race following V8 Supercars’ move to mandate soft tyres for the first stint only.

The softs ended up running just eight laps as a Safety Car, triggered by Nick Percat being spun by Rick Kelly, saw the entire field head to pitlane.

McLaughlin and Reynolds ran second and third respectively in the early laps before trading places in the first round of stops.

Lowndes dropped from eighth to ninth in the pitlane after being forced to momentarily stack behind team-mate Whincup.

The second Red Bull entry moved up to sixth by the time the second stops kicked off on lap 30 and, needing less fuel than his rivals during his second trip to pitlane, eventually emerged second.

Pye’s fuel strategy saw him jump from fourth to third in the second stops, while Reynolds, Michael Caruso and Scott McLaughlin filled the top six and retained those positions to the chequered flag.

Caruso had survived two touches from team-mate James Moffat on the opening lap, the second of which sent the former straight through the Turn 5/6 chicane.

Fabian Coulthard and Lee Holdsworth had solid runs to seventh and eighth respectively, while Shane van Gisbergen charged to ninth after falling as low as 17th when stacking behind Pye under Safety Car.

Garth Tander took advantage of a late tangle between team-mate James Courtney and Cameron Waters to score 10th on a tough weekend for the Holden Racing Team.

Result: V8 Supercars ITM 500 Auckland Race 30

1 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 69 01:18:57.1974
2 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:01.2612
3 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 69 01:19:08.0037
4 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 69 01:19:09.8986
5 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 69 01:19:10.3177
6 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 69 01:19:14.2806
7 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:19.5355
8 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:24.5599
9 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:32.1645
10 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:36.9236
11 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 69 01:19:37.5855
12 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:41.7736
13 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 69 01:19:42.2699
14 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 69 01:19:44.2920
15 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 69 01:19:49.4296
16 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 69 01:19:51.5430
17 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 69 01:19:52.3720
18 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 69 01:20:03.7030
19 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 69 01:20:03.9768
20 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 69 01:20:04.2120
21 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 68 01:18:58.0715
22 Pepsi Max Crew Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 68 01:19:21.2550
23 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 68 01:19:32.6932
24 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 67 01:20:10.3412
DNF Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF  6     6:38.5055

Championship Standings

1 Mark Winterbottom 2779
2 David Reynolds 2540
3 Craig Lowndes 2539
4 Garth Tander 2297
5 Shane van Gisbergen 2269
6 Fabian Coulthard 2252
7 Jamie Whincup 2086
8 Chaz Mostert 2017
9 James Courtney 1790
10 Scott McLaughlin 1786
11 Rick Kelly 1758
12 Michael Caruso 1633
13 Tim Slade 1570
14 Lee Holdsworth 1486
15 Jason Bright 1443
16 Will Davison 1426
17 James Moffat 1394
18 Todd Kelly 1363
19 Scott Pye 1288
20 Nick Percat 1204
21 Dale Wood 1139
22 Tim Blanchard 1075
23 Andre Heimgartner 1068
24 David Wall 920
25 Ash Walsh 769
26 Warren Luff 747
27 Jonathon Webb 699
28 Jack Perkins 693
29 Steve Owen 684
30 Steven Richards 681
31 Dean Canto 648
32 Luke Youlden 516
33 David Russell 492
34 Alex Premat 492
35 Tony D’Alberto 462
36 Cameron Waters 439
37 Sebastien Bourdais 423
38 Taz Douglas 416
39 Russell Ingall 414
40 Dean Fiore 399
41 Marcos Ambrose 395
42 Andrew Jones 345
43 Macauley Jones 327
44 Alex Davison 327
45 Paul Dumbrell 326
46 Karl Reindler 288
47 Alex Buncombe 276
48 Oliver Gavin 258
49 Ant Pedersen 185
50 Jack Le Brocq 144
51 Chris Pither 141
52 Aaren Russell 108
53 Drew Russell 108
54 Simona de Silvestro 84
55 Renee Gracie 84