Whincup and Bourdais conserve to win Race 21

Jamie Whincup and Sebastien Bordais have won Race 21 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship

Jamie Whincup and Sebastien Bordais have won Race 21 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship

Jamie Whincup has completed a marathon final stint to win the opening race of the 2011 Armor All Gold Coast 600 alongside co-driver Sebastien Bourdais.

The TeamVodafone Commodore made its second and final pitstop with 47 of the 103 laps still remaining, forcing Whincup to conserve fuel over the final stint.

A late-race Safety Car for debris ensured that all of the leading contenders would make it to the flag, allowing Whincup to lead home Trading Post FPR Falcon driver Will Davison by 2.2s.

Mark Winterbottom and Richard Lyons took third despite the Irishman attracting a drive-through penalty for a driving infringement, while an alternative pit strategy saw James Moffat charge home to a fourth place finish.

Fabian Coulthard also made ground in the closing stages to take fifth, while Greg Murphy, Rick Kelly, Michael Caruso, Jonathon Webb and Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top 10.

The result sees Whincup regain the lead in the V8 Supercars Championship from Craig Lowndes, who endured a shocking day in the second TeamVodafone entry.

Lowndes and co-driver Andy Priaulx spent the afternoon in-and-out of the pits with electrical problems, before a stray bollard damaged the radiator and forced the pair out for good.

The opening lap carnage of last year was not to be repeated, with Bourdais leading the way into the first chicane from Mika Salo (#6 Trading Post Racing) and Ryan Briscoe (#2 Toll Holden Racing Team).

The Frenchman edged out a 6s lead over Salo across the opening 28 laps, before doubling the margin prior to the Finn pitting on Lap 35.

Briscoe meanwhile had been the first of the leaders to pit, with the HRT replacing the IndyCar star a lap short of his minimum prescribed distance.

By the time the first round of stops had shaken out, Whincup led Tander by over 25s, with the duo split by Fujitsu Racing’s Augusto Farfus, who was on an alternate strategy after an early stop.

Davison lost ground in his car’s stop thanks to a 10 second hold for a jump start from Salo to sit fourth, while Fabian Coulthard and James Moffat rounded out the top six after stellar opening stints from American co-drivers Patrick Long and Joey Hand respectively.

Winterbottom meanwhile was almost a lap down following a drive-through penalty for his co-driver Richard Lyons, who shunted IRWIN Racing’s Marc Lieb into the Turn 14 exit wall on Lap 18.

A Safety Car period for a lose bollard at Turn 2 on Lap 50 was a godsend for Winterbottom, and saw a group of cars including Tander, Coulthard and Moffat head to pitlane –  the HRT installing Briscoe for a single lap under the full-course yellow before Tander jumped back in.

With the Turn 2 bollard again coming adrift after the restart, the Safety Car was called back onto the circuit on Lap 55. Although outside of their fuel range, Whincup led a train of cars to the pits – with Moffat, Coulthard,  Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth staying out on the ‘alternate’ strategy.

After leading in excess of 30 laps, Moffat was the last of the quartet to make his final stop, handing the lead back to Whincup.

The final debris Safety Car was called on Lap 90, just moments after engineer Mark Dutton gave Whincup the all-clear on fuel.

Whincup pulled a comfortable margin on the pursuing Davison over the final laps, while a spirited battle raged for the remainder of the top 10 spots.

Greg Murphy had found himself in third place at the last restart, but was immediately under attack from Winterbottom. The flying Moffat and Coulthard would also pass Murphy before the flag, relegating the Pepsi Max Commodore to sixth.

James Courtney too went backwards over the closing laps, falling from sixth to 14th in a spell that included a scrape the wall on the back straight following a clash with Holdsworth.

Team-mate Tander also struggled on the run home and took 11th, one position ahead of Slade, whose car had lost a lap with an early pitstop with Helio Castroneves at the wheel.

Stone Brothers Racing’s difficult day was completed by a 16th place finish for its SP Tools backed entry. An exceptional opening stint from Pirro had come to naught when co-driver Shane van Gisbergen pitted on his out-lap reporting a vibration.

Steven Johnson, Warren Luff and Karl Reindler had even worse days, with their cars retiring from the race before the trio could turn a lap.

Dirk Muller broke a left-rear upright on the #17 Falcon by hitting the wall at Turn 3, while Marino Franchitti was involved in nose-to-tail contact at Turn 4 that took care of the Gulf Western Commodore’s run.

Frabizio Giovanardi was the first retirement with an engine failure in the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing entry, while Tony D’Alberto also failed to finish after the Wilson Security Falcon’s power steering system cried enough.

A second 300km race tomorrow will complete the 2011 Armor All Gold Coast 600.

See below for the full race result

1 TeamVodafone J.Whincup/S.Bourdais Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:21.5515
2 Trading Post FPR Falcon W.Davison/M.Salo Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:23.7417
3 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon M.Winterbottom/R.Lyons Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:24.0198
4 Jim Beam Racing J.Moffat/J.Hand Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:24.3234
5 Bundaberg Racing F.Coulthard/P.Long Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:27.3948
6 Pepsi Max Crew G.Murphy/O.Gavin Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:28.6881
7 Jack Daniel’s Racing R.Kelly/J.Bergmeister Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:33.9845
8 Fujitsu Racing GRM M.Caruso/A.Farfus Jr Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:35.1554
9 Mother Energy Racing Team J.Webb/G.de Ferran Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:36.5708
10 Fujitsu Racing GRM L.Holdsworth/S.Pagenaud Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:38.3600
11 Toll Holden Racing Team G.Tander/R.Briscoe Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:38.3741
12 Lucky 7 Racing T.Slade/H.Castroneves Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:38.6205
13 Jack Daniel’s Racing T.Kelly/R.Westbrook Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:38.9841
14 Toll Holden Racing Team J.Courtney/D.Turner Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:42.2283
15 The Bottle-O Racing Team P.Dumbrell/C.Klien Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:43.6123
16 SP Tools Racing S.Van Gisbergen/E.Pirro Ford Falcon FG 102 02:13:45.4316
17 Jana Living Racing J.Bargwanna/A.Simonsen Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:47.4393
18 VIP Petfoods S.Owen/B.Said Holden Commodore VE2 102 02:13:50.4773
19 Stratco Racing D.Reynolds/A.Tagliani Holden Commodore VE2 100 02:13:51.1914
20 Westrac Racing D.Fiore/G.Morbidelli Ford Falcon FG 100 02:14:09.6162
21 Team Boc J.Bright/S.Sarrazin Holden Commodore VE2  99 02:13:53.7629
22 Supercheap Auto Racing R.Ingall/J.Magnussen Holden Commodore VE2  97 02:14:27.5129
23 Irwin Racing A.Davison/M.Lieb Ford Falcon FG  78 02:13:57.6370
DNF Wilson Security Racing T.D’Alberto/V.Liuzzi Ford Falcon FG  75 02:13:31.6118
DNF TeamVodafone C.Lowndes/A.Priaulx Holden Commodore VE2  52 01:41:17.3821
DNF Jim Beam Racing Dirk Mueller (DEU) Ford Falcon FG  24    31:17.3493
DNF Gulf Western Oil Racing Marino Franchitti (GBR) Holden Commodore VE2  14    18:43.4264
DNF Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Fabrizio Giovanardi ITA Holden Commodore VE2  13    17:11.9693

See below for the updated championship points standings


Driver Name


1 Jamie Whincup 2379
2 Craig Lowndes 2329
3 Shane van Gisbergen 1952
4 Garth Tander 1920
5 Mark Winterbottom 1816
6 Will Davison 1784
7 Rick Kelly 1734
8 Jason Bright 1544
9 Alex Davison 1484
10 Lee Holdsworth 1461
11 Steven Johnson 1411
12 Tim Slade 1397
13 Greg Murphy 1396
14 Fabian Coulthard 1386
15 Michael Caruso 1240
16 James Courtney 1240
17 Steve Owen 1184
18 David Reynolds 1120
19 James Moffat 1115
20 Russell Ingall 1106
21 Jason Bargwanna 1100
22 Jonathon Webb 1052
23 Paul Dumbrell 1012
24 Todd Kelly 989
25 Dean Fiore 863
26 Tony D’Alberto 829
27 Karl Reindler 829
28 Warren Luff 654
29 Mark Skaife 532
30 Nick Percat 527
31 Allan Simonsen 455
32 John McIntyre 393
33 Andrew Jones 385
34 Steve Richards 366
35 Richard Lyons 361
36 Cameron McConville 358
37 Luke Youlden 344
38 Andrew Thompson 334
39 Tim Blanchard 288
40 Paul Morris 268
41 Jack Perkins 255
42 Greg Ritter 243
43 Dale Wood 236
44 Marcus Marshall 229
45 Owen Kelly 220
46 Daniel Gaunt 219
47 David Russell 202
48 Shane Price 197
49 Nathan Pretty 192
50 Michael Patrizi 187
51 David Wall 185
52 Sebastian Bourdais 150
53 Craig Baird 148
54 Matthew Halliday 137
55 Joey Hand 120
56 Dean Canto 109
57 Oliver Gavin 102
58 Jorg Bergmeister 96
59 Taz Douglas 93
60 Augusto Farfus Jr 90
61 Gil de Ferran 84
62 Simon Pagenaud 78
63 Richard Westbrook 66
64 David Besnard 66
65 Darren Turner 63
66 Christian Klein 60
67 Emanuele Pirro 57
68 Boris Said 51
69 Alex Tagliani 48
70 Sarrazin Stephane 42
71 Jan Magnussen 39
72 Marc Lieb 36
73 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
74 Dirk Muller 0
75 Marino Franchitti 0
76 Fabrizio Giovanardi 0
77 Grant Denyer 0
78 Cameron Waters 0

See below for TeamVodafone’s post-race video.

TeamVodafone : Saturday wrap – Armor All Gold Coast 600 from TeamVodafone on Vimeo.

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