Whincup ends FPR streak with Hidden Valley win
Jamie Whincup has ended Ford Performance seven-race winning streak in the V8 Supercars Championship by taking Race 12 at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Starting on the hard tyres, the three-time and reigning champion fell from third to fifth with a poor getaway before making his way through to the lead by the end of the first stint.
Whincup then nursed his set of soft tyres for the remaining 19 laps, eventually taking the flag 5.88s clear of title rivals Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom.
The FPR duo ran the same hard-soft tyre strategy as Whincup, but proved unable to match the long-run pace of the winner on either compound.
Craig Lowndes, David Reynolds, Tim Slade, Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander, Jonathon Webb and Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top 10.
The result sees Whincup take the championship lead back from Davison by just two points.
The Safety Car made a single appearance during the 120km contest, with the full-course yellows required on Lap 3 after a ‘concertina’ incident at the Turn 6 hairpin.
Tony D’Alberto spun Michael Caruso in the melee before the latter was collected head-on by David Russell. Caruso and Russell both limped back to the pits to retire, while D’Alberto went on to finish 15th.
Lowndes was also turned around in the fracas, setting up a difficult afternoon for the TeamVodafone driver. Lowndes eventually recovered to fourth after running two stints on the soft compound tyres.
Joining Caruso and Russell on the retirements list were Rick Kelly and Taz Douglas, with the former suffering a repeat of the water hose leak he endured in practice yesterday.
Russell Ingall and Fabian Coulthard were the last of the classified runners in 23rd and 24th after being awarded mechanical black flags for water and oil leaks respectively.
Coulthard’s team-mate Jason Bright meanwhile was a disappointed 13th after spinning out of seventh place in the closing stages.
Bright had joined Reynolds, Rick Kelly, Steve Owen, Ingall, D’Alberto, Steven Johnson, Russell, Douglas and Moffat in starting on the soft tyres.
The strategy allowed Reynolds to out-drag pole-sitter Davison to the first corner and lead the first lap for the third race in succession. The Bottle-O Falcon driver completed 19 laps at the head of the order before succumbing to the advances of Whincup.
Race 13 of the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship will take place over 200km of Hidden Valley Raceway tomorrow.
RACE RESULTS: SKYCITY Triple Crown – Saturday
|7.||Shane Van Gisbergen|
Championship Standings after Race 12 of 29
|5.||Shane Van Gisbergen||1049|