Lowndes takes first win of 2012 in Race 13

Craig Lowndes took his 83rd career win

Craig Lowndes took his 83rd career win

Craig Lowndes has scored his first win of the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship by defeating team-mate Jamie Whincup in a late-race scrap at Hidden Valley.

TeamVodafone proved the dominant force in a race typically dominated by tyre strategy.

Mark Winterbottom emerged best of the rest in third, albeit some 16.3s adrift of the race winner.

The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon driver took the lead from pole-sitting team-mate Will Davison while on the hard tyres in the opening laps but proved unable to fight for the win on the softer rubber.

Michael Caruso took a fine fourth place finish despite falling to the rear of the field with a stall at the start.

Fabian Coulthard, Will Davison, Shane van Gisbergen, David Reynolds, Garth Tander and Tim Slade rounded out the top 10.

Sixth place represented a reasonable recovery for Davison, who lost ground while pitting behind Winterbottom under an early Safety Car.

The yellow flags had flown following a clash between David Russell and Jason Bright on Lap 9 that saw the Pepsi Max Commodore spin into the Turn 14 exit wall.

Whincup, Lowndes, James Courtney and Jonathon Webb were the only four drivers not to pit under the Safety Car, setting up an interesting strategic battle between TeamVodafone and the other leading contenders.

While a now soft-shod Winterbottom made his way back into the lead by Lap 19, Whincup held onto the tail of the Orrcon Falcon before making a first stop of his own six laps later.

The three-time and reigning champion then completed a short middle stint to leap-frog his Ford rival in the final round of stops.

Lowndes meanwhile had struggled during his early stint on the hard tyres, falling back to 11th before making his first stop.

Rising to third by Lap 42, Lowndes would eventually prove too strong for all comers having saved a brand new set of soft tyres for the run home.

Several drivers had their chances dashed on the opening corner of the race, where Tim Slade found himself spun in the middle of the pack.

Russell Ingall, Alexandre Premat, Steve Owen and Rick Kelly were among those to sustain damage in the fracas, with the Supercheap Auto Holden an immediate retirement.

David Wall (sticking throttle), James Moffat (engine misfire) and Karl Reindler (cracked piston) would also join the retirements list before the race was over.

The 2012 V8 Supercars Championship continues in three weeks time with the Sucrogen Townsville 400.

See below for the full Race 13 result

1 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:04.4833
2 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:05.4210
3 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 69 01:29:20.7720
4 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:21.1985
5 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:26.1714
6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 69 01:29:32.4473
7 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 69 01:29:35.8755
8 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 69 01:29:40.6670
9 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:52.2907
10 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 69 01:29:56.7033
11 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:29:58.7140
12 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Falcon FG 69 01:30:00.7711
13 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:30:01.4984
14 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:30:02.5013
15 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:30:07.4769
16 Team iSelect Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:30:13.5817
17 Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 69 01:30:18.1799
18 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi Holden Commodore VE2 69 01:30:23.5965
19 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 68 01:29:08.4745
20 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VE2 68 01:29:23.8489
21 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 68 01:29:41.5851
22 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG 67 01:29:44.2192
23 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 67 01:30:14.5503
DNF Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 45 01:00:14.4437
DNF Team Norton DJR James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 44 01:12:39.9018
DNF Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE2 13    19:46.5432
DNF Pepsi Max Crew David Russell Holden Commodore VE2  7     8:40.7800
DNF Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2

See below for the updated points standings

1 Jamie Whincup 1494
2 Will Davison 1456
3 Mark Winterbottom 1445
4 Craig Lowndes 1247
5 Shane Van Gisbergen 1145
6 Lee Holdsworth 1079
7 Tim Slade 1059
8 Garth Tander  990
9 Fabian Coulthard  910
10 Jason Bright  804
11 Todd Kelly  783
12 David Reynolds  747
13 James Courtney  728
14 Michael Caruso  717
15 Rick Kelly  709
16 Steven Johnson  695
17 Jonathon Webb  670
18 Russell Ingall  632
19 Dean Fiore  600
20 Steve Owen  599
21 Michael Patrizi  586
22 Tony D’Alberto  527
23 Taz Douglas  453
24 Alexandre Premat  453
25 Karl Reindler  435
26 David Wall  361
27 James Moffat  344
28 Greg Murphy  315
29 David Russell   42

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