Whincup first, daylight second in opening race

Jamie Whincup was in unbelievable touch in the first race of the V8 Supercars season at the Yas Marina Circuit

Jamie Whincup was in unbelievable touch in the first race of the V8 Supercars season at the Yas Marina Circuit

Jamie Whincup destroyed his V8 Supercars opposition in the opening race of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship, finishing 13 seconds in front of the next best finisher at the Yas Marina Circuit tonight.

The TeamVodafone Commodore VE driver held the front-running spot for all-but the first half of the opening lap when IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison sliced between the Whincup and Craig Lowndes Vodafone entries. Davison’s lead wasn’t to last, with Whincup taking the lead at turn six and racing on to a huge win.

To rub salt into his rival’s wounds, Whincup set the fastest lap on the 37th lap.

Davison eventually finished second, overhauling Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom in the last pit stop. The result for Davison equalled his best-ever V8 result from Hidden Valley in 2009 – that result was 22 events ago …

Winterbottom took third place, ahead of Davison’s Stone Brothers Racing team-mates Shane van Gisbergen (SP Tools Racing) and Tim Slade (Lucky 7 Racing).

It was the first-time in SBR’s V8 Supercars history that three of its cars have finished inside the top five in a race.

Garth Tander salvaged a respectable result for the Toll Holden Racing Team, finishing sixth after starting 14th.

The news for his new team-mate James Courtney wasn’t as flash. Courtney broke a steering arm in the opening lap skirmish with Jason Bargwanna. He lost four laps in the pits while the Toll Holden Racing Team repaired his Commodore VE, eventually finishing second last.

Rounding out the top 10 was pole-sitter Craig Lowndes (TeamVodafone), Fabian Couthard (Bundaberg Racing), Lee Holdsworth (Fujitsu Racing) and Todd Kelly (Jack Daniel’s Racing).

Will Davison made a strong comeback after a wild lap one spin, finishing 12th in his debut in the Trading Post Ford Performance Racing Falcon.

The start of tonight’s race was delayed due to a lengthy yellow flag period in the GP2 Asia supporting race. Dani Clos stalled at the start and was hit by Luis Razia, who launched spectacularly into the air. The GP2 race was eventually won by Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver Jules Bianchi.

Qualifying for tomorrow’s V8 race at the Yas Marina Circuit will be run at 3.15pm, followed by Race 2 of the Championship at 6.20pm.

Pos Car Driver Vehicle Laps
1 88 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 43
2 4 Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 43
3 5 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 43
4 9 Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 43
5 47 Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 43
6 2 Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 43
7 888 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 43
8 61 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 43
9 33 Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE2 43
10 7 Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 43
11 17 Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 43
12 6 Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 43
13 15 Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 43
14 49 Steve Owen Holden Commodore VE2 43
15 34 Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 43
16 18 James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 43
17 16 David Reynolds Holden Commodore VE2 43
18 3 Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VE2 43
19 14 Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE2 43
20 19 Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG 43
21 11 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 43
22 12 Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 43
23 30 Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE2 42
24 39 Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 42
25 55 Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG 39
26 1 James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 39
DNF 21 Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 41
DNF 8 Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 20

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