Jamie Whincup bounces back at Symmons Plains
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.
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
|4||Shane Van Gisbergen||432|
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