Lowndes wins as Whincup falters in Sydney


Saturday 25th August, 2012 - 5:04pm


Craig Lowndes on the podium at Eastern Creek

Craig Lowndes on the podium at Eastern Creek today

Craig Lowndes has taken first blood at Sydney Motorsport Park, winning Race 18 of the V8 Supercars Championship at the western Sydney venue.

The TeamVodafone drove a cool and calm race, overhauling early leader Jonathon Webb to take his third V8 win in a row, adding to his double success at Queensand Raceway.

Lowndes’ championship leading team-mate Jamie Whincup ran inside the top five for the majority of the 36 lap race, only to suffer from a delaminating right rear tyre in the closing stages.

Whincup dropped to finish a lowly 23rd, losing 80 seconds to winner Lowndes in the last five laps.

The result sees Mark Winterbottom, who finished second, pick up the championship lead. The Orrcon Steel FPR driver shadowed Lowndes for most of the race, but didn’t have the speed to offer him a challenge.

Winterbottom’s team-mate Will Davison finished in third place. After making a slow start, Davison chipped his way back into podium contention, while never a race winning threat.

In terms of the championship, Winterbottom now holds a 20 point buffer over Whincup, with Davison a further 83 points behind. Lowndes remains in fourth, but has narrowed the gap to leader Winterbottom to 162 points.

Holden Racing Team driver Garth Tander qualified 13th but made up ground in his opening stint on hard tyres. The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner was one of the last of the leading runners to pits, racing up to take fourth place.

Russell Ingall took fifth place – the best of the six drivers who started the race on soft tyres. The Supercheap Auto driver finished ahead of his Walkinshaw Racing stablemate James Courtney.

Shane van Gisbergen, Michael Caruso, Webb and Jason Bright rounded out the top 10.

Webb, starting a career-best second, elected to start the race on soft tyres. After building a handy lead on the faster tyres, Webb was swallowed up by the Lowndes, Winterbottom and co. when they switched to the soft tyres.

In the incident department, the opening lap saw the Jim Beam Falcons of Dean Fiore and Steve Johnson involved in a clash with Taz Douglas, sending Fiore off the circuit.

Lee Holdsworth was involved in an incident with Michael Patrizi, with the IRWIN Racing Ford sent into wild spin at Turn 8. The battle was for 17th place.

The V8 Supercars Championship will continue at Sydney Motorsport Park tomorrow.

V8 Supercars, Race 18 Results

1 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:17.3122
2 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 36 56:18.7733
3 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 36 56:30.7622
4 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:38.3482
5 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:38.5317
6 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:44.0430
7 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 36 56:48.1816
8 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:49.3387
9 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:50.0852
10 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:50.2532
11 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 36 56:53.1835
12 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:53.4706
13 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 36 56:56.0345
14 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 36 56:58.2977
15 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:05.0072
16 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 36 57:07.2448
17 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:08.3690
18 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:12.5121
19 Team Norton DJR James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 36 57:19.8368
20 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG 36 57:26.9615
21 Team iSelect Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:30.2610
22 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:31.8213
23 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:37.0393
24 Pepsi Max Crew Jaques Villeneuve Holden Commodore VE2 36 57:45.7235
25 Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 35 57:04.0241
26 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Falcon FG 35 57:05.9577
27 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 35 57:21.7216
28 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VE2 34 56:25.2663

Points after Race 18

1 Mark Winterbottom 2108
2 Jamie Whincup 2088
3 Will Davison 2005
4 Craig Lowndes 1946
5 Shane van Gisbergen 1568
6 Garth Tander 1443
7 Tim Slade 1401
8 Fabian Coulthard 1330
9 Lee Holdsworth 1244
10 James Courtney 1091
11 David Reynolds 1083
12 Michael Caruso 1074
13 Jason Bright 1059
14 Todd Kelly 1046
15 Russell Ingall 1028
16 Rick Kelly 997
17 Steven Johnson 989
18 Steve Owen 922
19 Michael Patrizi 910
20 Jonathon Webb 892
21 Tony D’Alberto 809
22 Dean Fiore 806
23 Taz Douglas 635
24 Karl Reindler 623
25 David Wall 598
26 James Moffat 593
27 Alexandre Premat 553
28 Greg Murphy 315

See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Race Guide.

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