David Russell scores big win in Fujitsu Series

David Russell

David Russell leads the field into Hell Corner

David Russell has taken a commanding lights to flag victory in the opening Fujitsu Series race at Mount Panorama.

The Jayco Falcon led every one of the 14 laps, with Russell surviving two Safety Car restarts to record the greatest win of his career.

Steve Owen (Earthex Commodore) took second, 1.5 seconds behind Russell. The championship leader dropped to third courtesy of a bad start, but regained second by passing Paul Morris on first Safety Car restart.

James Moffat (Norton 360 Falcon) and Nick Percat (Bundaberg Red Commodore) rounded out the top five, with the latter having seen off a sustained challenge from Tim Blanchard. The Sirromet Ford eventually spun into the outside wall at Griffins Bend just three laps from home, leaving the youngster to limp home 14th.

On his debut appearance in a V8 Supercar, Chaz Mostert (East Coast Traffic Control Falcon) took an outstanding sixth place – passing Rodney Jane (Bob Jane T-Marts Falcon) around the outside at Griffins Bend on Lap 11 in a move reminiscent of Craig Lowndes’s Bathurst debut heroics in 1994. The pass was made all the more dramatic by Mostert narrowly avoiding a recovering Blanchard on the exit.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Commodores of Geoff Emery (NDD), Ben Eggleston (Jax Quickfit Tyres) and Marcus Zukanovic (Midway).

Zukanovic had stormed through the field after starting from last on the grid thanks to a fuel pressure issue in qualifying.

It took just three laps of racing for the first Safety Car period to occur, courtesy of contact between the Falcons of Ryan Hansford (V8 Race) and Drew Russell (Go Karts Go) at Griffins Bend that sent Russell backwards into the tyre wall. Russell’s car was flung spectacularly into the air and eventually came to rest on its side, with the Novacastrian thankfully emerging unscathed. Once racing resumed, Hansford visited the pit lane for a drive-through penalty.

Scott McLaughlin also found trouble early in the race, with the Fujitsu Falcon sliding into the wall at Reid Park. Fellow debutant Ben Barker (Industrie Falcon) finished 11th, despite a poor start and a mid-race trip through the gravel at Hell Corner.

Fujitsu V8 Supercars; Round 6, Race 1; Results

1 28 David Russell 12 2:09.6794*
2 45 Steve Owen 12 2:09.9108
3 67 Paul Morris 12 2:10.2264
4 99 James Moffat 12 2:10.3586
5 222 Nick Percat 12 2:10.5016
6 86 Chaz Mostert 12 2:12.1606
7 777 Rodney Jane 12 2:13.0290
8 48 Geoff Emery 12 2:13.7272
9 38 Ben Eggleston 12 2:13.2164
10 71 Marcus Zukanovic 12 2:12.8973
11 46 Daniel Jilesen 12 2:13.2008
12 59 Aaren Russell 12 2:14.5702
13 32 Paul Fiore 12 2:14.2480
14 999 Tim Blanchard 12 2:11.4602
15 26 Ben Barker 12 2:12.6551
16 75 Aaron McGill 12 2:15.7160
17 62 Adam Wallis 12 2:15.6962
18 96 Ryan Hansford 12 2:14.2880
19 66 Phil Foster 12 2:18.4885
20 95 Nathan Vince 12 2:17.8612
DNF 93 Scott McLaughlin 6 2:12.5904
DNF 58 Drew Russell 2 2:13.9660

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