Jamie Whincup bounces back at Symmons Plains

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has turned the tables on Ford Performance Racing by winning the second leg of the Tasmanian Challenge at Symmons Plains

The three-time and reigning champion secured his eighth race win at the circuit despite a spin during the first stint.

Whincup led home Shane van Gisbergen by 5.0s at the end of the 84 laps, with Will Davison, Tim Slade, Mark Winterbottom, Lee Holdsworth, Michael Caruso, James Courtney, Jonathon Webb and Todd Kelly rounding out the top 10.

Pole-sitter Craig Lowndes led the early stages of the race before losing out to fellow front-row starter Davison as the field changed from hard to soft tyres in the first round of stops.

Lowndes then crashed out of the race in the second stint – the left-front suspension was ripped off the TeamVodafone Commodore when Lowndes looked to the outside of the Tradingpost Falcon into the Turn 4 hairpin.

Jamie Whincup leads Shane van Gisbergen

Jamie Whincup leads Shane van Gisbergen

Davison struggled for pace during the remainder of the race, losing places to team-mate Winterbottom and Whincup during the middle stint.

Starting from fifth on the grid, Whincup had passed both Van Gisbergen and Winterbottom in the early laps before giving the positions back when he locked his rear brakes and rotated at the hairpin.

The Safety Car for Lowndes’ incident ensured Whincup ran just 1.5s behind race leader Winterbottom by the time the final stops unfolded.

The Orrcon Falcon driver subsequently dropped position to the eventual winner, Davison, Van Gisbergen and Slade when his engine stalled during his stop.

Winterbottom was unable to recover any positions over the remaining 30 laps to the flag, with a move from Van Gisbergen on Davison the only significant late development.

Davison now leads the championship by a reduced 18 point margin over Whincup after four races, with Winterbottom a further six points adrift in third.

It was a difficult day for fellow title challenger Garth Tander, who finished 22nd after a series of incidents. The first occurred on the eighth lap on the race when the Holden Racing Team Commodore made contact with David Reynolds at Turn 6.

While Reynolds lost several laps fixing damage sustained to The Bottle-O Falcon, a top 10 still seemed possible for Tander before a midrace touch with Rick Kelly at Turn 4 caused another unscheduled pittstop.

All drivers chose to run a hard-soft-soft tyre strategy except Russell Ingall, who started from 24th position on the soft tyres.

The decision saw the Supercheap Auto Holden lead the race briefly, but any chance of a result was brough undone by the Lowndes Safety Car.

Two subsequent 10s stop-go penalties for pitlane infringements left the 2005 champion 25th in the final results.

David Russell joined Lowndes on the retirements list late in the race when his Pepsi Max Crew Commodore developed an oil leak. The Dunlop Series driver had gone a lap down early in the race thanks to a slow first pitstop. Team-mate Karl Reindler fared little better in 24th after requiring a battery change.

See below for the full race result

1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:17:26.3867
2 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 84 01:17:31.3871
3 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 84 01:17:33.0695
4 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 84 01:17:34.1530
5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 84 01:17:35.6296
6 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Falcon FG 84 01:17:36.9986
7 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:17:46.1663
8 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:17:50.8009
9 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:17:54.0032
10 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:17:54.9636
11 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:00.9290
12 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG 84 01:18:01.5134
13 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:04.2940
14 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:04.8011
15 Tony D’Alberto Racing Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 84 01:18:08.6365
16 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:09.3655
17 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:09.5724
18 Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 84 01:18:14.3969
19 Team Norton DJR James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 84 01:18:15.3783
20 Team iSelect Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VE2 84 01:18:15.7594
21 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 83 01:17:32.4092
22 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 83 01:17:51.6585
23 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE2 83 01:17:56.4050
24 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 83 01:18:05.8503
25 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 82 01:17:48.1382
26 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 72 01:18:16.4257
DNF Pepsi Max Crew David Russell Holden Commodore VE2 77 01:13:31.8133
DNF TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 29    26:03.4647

See below for the championship standings after four races

1 Will Davison 567
2 Jamie Whincup 549
3 Mark Winterbottom 471
4 Shane Van Gisbergen 432
5 Garth Tander 393
6 Lee Holdsworth 387
7 Tim Slade 357
8 Craig Lowndes 317
9 Fabian Coulthard 315
10 Todd Kelly 282
11 Rick Kelly 273
12 Steve Owen 246
13 Steven Johnson 246
14 Michael Caruso 234
15 David Reynolds 225
16 Alexandre Premat 225
17 Michael Patrizi 222
18 Tony D’Alberto 198
19 Russell Ingall 195
20 Dean Fiore 195
21 James Courtney 171
22 James Moffat 171
23 Karl Reindler 159
24 Jason Bright 150
25 Taz Douglas 147
26 David Wall 129
27 Jonathon Webb 120
28 David Russell  42
29 Greg Murphy  33

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