Thompson wins amid reverse grid chaos

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson has taken a major step towards his maiden Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series crown by winning a chaotic Race 2 at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge.

Starting from fifth on the grid, the Triple Eight Race Engineering Commodore driver emerged second after a multi-car accident at Turn 2 before taking the lead from Tim Blanchard after the resulting Safety Car restart.

Blanchard kept Thompson honest for the remainder, with the gap between the pair standing at 1.9s by the chequered flag.

Paul Morris took third from Luke Youlden on the final lap having started 22nd, while Geoff Emery rounded out the top five despite a late-race spin while running third.

The first lap incident saw title contender David Russell skip across the infield at Turn 3 – spearing into the Wilson Security Racing Commodore of David Wall as he rejoined.

Wall’s spinning Commodore ensured a host of contenders were caught up in the carnage, with Scott McLaughlin’s Fujitsu Falcon sustaining heavy front and rear damage.

Yesterday’s top three finishers Jack Perkins, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat – starting mid-pack thanks to the reverse top 10 format – all found themselves facing the wrong way by the time the incident ended.

Right-front suspension damage saw Percat join McLaughlin and Wall on the retirements list, while Mostert and Perkins set about fighting their way back through the field.

Mostert seemed set for a top 10 finish by Lap 12 when he was tagged into another spin by Nick Cassidy at Turn 3. The reigning Australian Formula Ford Champion would eventually finish 15th.

It was also a disappointing result for front-row starter Tony Bates, who spun into the inside fence at Turn 1 as Thompson took the lead from Blanchard.

Drew Russell was the last retirement having spun into the gravel at Turn 9 while running sixth on the final lap.

Race 3 will take place at 1330 local time.

See below for the full race result

1  Triple Eight Race Engineering Andrew Thompson Holden Commodore VE 15 21:28.8306
2  Team Jayco Tim Blanchard Ford Falcon BF 15 21:30.7933
3  Sargent Security Racing Paul Morris Holden Commodore VE 15 21:35.2744
4  Simpro Software/Master Elect. Luke Youlden Ford Falcon BF 15 21:35.4887
5  AC Delco/Simworx/NDD Geoff Emery Holden Commodore VE 15 21:45.1423
6  Action Racing Marcus Zukanovic Holden Commodore VE 15 21:47.0911
7  Shannons-Linde Racing Cameron Waters Holden Commodore VE 15 21:48.6381
8  Bob Jane T-Marts Rodney Jane Ford Falcon FG 15 21:51.1944
9  Team Tom Supporters Club Tom Tweedie Ford Falcon BF 15 21:57.5971
10  Mad Croc Energy Robert Cregan Ford Falcon BF 15 21:57.7179
11  Bob Jane T Marts/Supercheap Jack Perkins Ford Falcon BF 15 22:00.2913
12  CEG Rentals/Go Karts Go Aaren Russell Ford Falcon BF 15 22:02.6487
13  Drill Pro Services/Fuchs/ACS Nick Cassidy Holden Commodore VE 15 22:04.4628
14  Fastaz Motorsport Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VZ 15 22:07.2152
15  Ford Performance Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG 15 22:10.7069
16  Team Jayco David Russell Ford Falcon BF 15 22:11.6079
17  Formula Tech/Interquip Racing Brett Stewart Holden Commodore VE 15 22:16.0958
18  R&J Batteries/EarthEx/KingGee Daniel Jilesen Holden Commodore VE 14 21:59.3803
19  SOLO Racing Aaron McGill Ford Falcon BF 13 21:31.6149
DNF  Carrington Equip/Go Karts Go Drew Russell Ford Falcon BF 14 20:32.0441
DNF / AFS Tony Bates Holden Commodore VE  5  9:21.3360
DNF  Fujitsu Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG    
DNF  Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE  
DNF  Coates Hire Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VE

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