Carnage, controversy and title casualties at GC600

Garth Tander and Cameron McConville

Garth Tander and Cameron McConville have won the first race at the Armor All Gold Coast 600

If V8 Supercars Australia and the Queensland Government wanted the world’s eyes on the Gold Coast, they got it, as carnage, controversies and championship casualties were the order of the day on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

In V8 Supercars’ first international-flavoured endurance event, Garth Tander and Cameron McConville took the win in their #2 Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore VE after late-race leader James Courtney and Warren Luff were given a black flag for a Safety Car breach.

Courtney had taken the lead with a smart move on lap 80, passing a wounded Tander, but Courntey was adjudged to have allowed the Safety Car to drive too far in front , costing him a chance to extend his title lead.

While Courtney fell to 10th, Tander took the win, although his race was also affected by stewards and controversy.

Liquid was being pumped out of the side of the #2 Toll HRT car, with the stewards issuing a black flag penalty for a fuel leak. However, the factory Holden team fought the claims, saying that it was water from the drink bottle that was leaking.

The stewards withdrew the black flag, allowing Tander to eventually march to the win and keep his title hopes alive.

Tander’s team-mate McConville almost cost them a chance at the win after he jumped the start and was handed a 10 second addition to his first pit stop. The experienced McConville knuckled down and opened up a huge lead in one of the best stints of his career.

Second place went to TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes, who helped Brit Andy Priaulx place as the highest-finishing international driver.

SP Tools Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen/John McIntyre finished third, while American Patrick Long, paired with Michael Caruso in the #34 Fujitsu Racing Commodore, took fourth.

IRWIN Tools Racing’s Alex Davison and David Brabham had an impressive run, taking fifth place from Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen in the #1 TeamVodafone Commodore.

The race started in chaos, with all bar four teams starting their Primary drivers. From third place on the grid, former Formula One world champ Jacques Villeneuve found himself in the wars, crashed into three times in the first four corners – including two hits from his team-mates!

Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom had his championship title hopes derailed when Youlden collected Villeneuve at the start, launching his Falcon into the air. The entry eventually finished 21st.

A late race incident saw Brad Jones Racing team-mates Jason Bright and Jason Richards clash, sending Richards into a spin and out of the top 10, taking 15th.

Fujitsu Racing’s Lee Holdsworth was looking like a podium chance until he collected the tyre wall at turn two at the half race distance.

Of the stand out internationals, Sebastien Bourdais ended his first stint at the front of the field, putting in a huge 41 lap stint. It put team-mate Jonathon Webb in a great position to take eighth place at the end of the 102 lap event.

Another 300km race will be held tomorrow from the Surfers Paradise street track

1 2 G.Tander/C.McConville Holden Commodore VE 102
2 888 C.Lowndes/A.Priaulx Holden Commodore VE 102
3 9 S.Van Gisbergen/J.McIntyre Ford Falcon FG 102
4 34 M.Caruso/P.Long Holden Commodore VE 102
5 4 A.Davison/D.Brabham Ford Falcon FG 102
6 1 J.Whincup/S.Owen Holden Commodore VE 102
7 14 J.Bright/A.Menu Holden Commodore VE 102
8 19 J.Webb/S.Bourdais Ford Falcon FG 102
9 21 K.Reindler/F.Giovanardi Holden Commodore VE 102
10 18 J.Courtney/W.Luff Ford Falcon FG 102
11 11 J.Bargwanna/A.Tagliani Holden Commodore VE 102
12 39 R.Ingall/J.Perkins Holden Commodore VE 102
13 51 G.Murphy/Y.Muller Holden Commodore VE 102
14 15 R.Kelly/O.Kelly Holden Commodore VE 102
15 8 J.Richards/A.Jones Holden Commodore VE 101
16 17 S.Johnson/D.Franchitti Ford Falcon FG 101
17 24 F.Coulthard/D.Reynolds Holden Commodore VE 101
18 47 T.Slade/H.Castroneves Ford Falcon FG 101
19 33 L.Holdsworth/G.Ritter Holden Commodore VE 101
20 7 T.Kelly/S.Dixon Holden Commodore VE 101
21 5 M.Winterbottom/L.Youlden Ford Falcon FG 94
22 55 P.Dumbrell/J.Villeneuve Ford Falcon FG 91
DNF 16 T.Ricciardello/D.Wood Holden Commodore VE 93
DNF 10 A.Thompson/M.Salo Holden Commodore VE 78
DNF 3 Tiago Monteiro Holden Commodore VE 50
DNF 30 Scott Pruett Holden Commodore VE 24
DNF 12 Gianni Morbidelli Ford Falcon FG 1
DNF 22 Will Davison Holden Commodore VE
DNF 6 Will Power Ford Falcon FG

Championship points

1. James Courtney 2401
2. Jamie Whincup 2300
3. Craig Lowndes 2177
4. Garth Tander 2088
5. Mark Winterbottom 2072
6. Shane Van Gisbergen 1902
7. Rick Kelly 1751
8. Lee Holdsworth 1679
9. Michael Caruso 1634
10. Paul Dumbrell 1479
11. Steven Johnson 1469
12. Jason Richards 1451
13. Russell Ingall 1370
14. Jonathon Webb 1360
15. Tim Slade 1295
16. Jason Bright 1210
17. Todd Kelly 1117
18. Alex Davison 1086
19. Steven Richards 1051
20. Will Davison 1023
21. Tony D’Alberto 965
22. Greg Murphy 949
23. Jason Bargwanna 887
24. Fabian Coulthard 797
25. Dean Fiore 716
26. Karl Reindler 703
27. Cameron McConville 669
28. Tony Ricciardello 662
29. Mark Skaife 560
30. Daniel Gaunt 539

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