Tander continues Clipsal 500 form with victory

Garth Tander has won Race 3 of the V8 Supercars Championship in the first leg of the 2011 Clipsal 500

Garth Tander has won Race 3 of the V8 Supercars Championship in the first leg of the 2011 Clipsal 500

Garth Tander has won a time-shortened opening race of the 2011 Clipsal 500.

Tander fended off a charging Jamie Whincup in the closing stages, with Craig Lowndes, Jason Bright and Fabian Coulthard rounding out the top five.

The final order was largely determined by fuel strategy, with Tander and Whincup among many to benefit from two long Safety Cars in the final stint to make it home on just two stops.

Rick Kelly ran strongly early in the day, but fell back into the pack by making a third pit stop while the other leading contenders stayed out. The Jack Daniel’s Commodore was 12th at the flag.

Lowndes went off-strategy early and also completed three stops before scything through the top 10 runners in the final third of the race.

Mark Winterbottom was sixth despite losing time due to congestion in his second pitstop, while Todd Kelly, Tim Slade, Will Davison and Jason Bargwanna rounded out the top 10.

James Courtney was an early race casualty, dropping 10 laps with a trip into the tyre barrier at the exit of Turn 7 thanks to a steering arm failure.

The two extended Safety Car periods were to retrieve the stranded cars of Steve Owen, who crashed heavily at Turn 8 on Lap 45, and James Moffat, who spun into the path of Tony D’Alberto at Turn 9 on Lap 60.

Also to cause Safety Cars were David Reynolds, who visited the Turn 11 gravel trap on Lap 31, and Russell Ingall, who hit the Turn 13 tyre barrier after an apparent tyre issue on Lap 70.

Tander’s victory sees him equal Peter Brock on 48 career race wins.

Provisional Results; race 3; V8 Supercars Championship

1 2 Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 76
2 88 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 76
3 888 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 76
4 8 Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 76
5 61 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 76
6 5 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 76
7 7 Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 76
8 47 Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 76
9 6 Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 76
10 14 Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE2 76
11 17 Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 76
12 15 Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 76
13 9 Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 76
14 19 Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG 76
15 12 Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 76
16 34 Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 76
17 3 Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 76
18 11 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 76
19 21 Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 76
20 33 Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE2 76
21 30 Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE2 75
22 16 David Reynolds Holden Commodore VE2 74
23 4 Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 71
24 1 James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 66
25 55 Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG 63
DNF 39 Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 68
DNF 18 James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 58
DNF 49 Steve Owen Holden Commodore VE2 44

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