Whincup holds out Reynolds in Bathurst thriller

Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell have won the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell have won the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

Jamie Whincup has taken his fourth victory in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 by holding out a gallant David Reynolds in a fuel saving battle to the chequered flag.

The duo were separated by just 0.3s after an intense final stint that ended with Whincup handing co-driver Paul Dumbrell his first Mountain triumph.

The result marks the first podium finishes in V8 Supercars for both Reynolds and his co-driver Dean Canto.

Craig Lowndes fought through the top 10 on the run home to take third in the car he shared with Warren Luff, while the James Courtney/Cameron McConville and Michael Caruso/Greg Ritter Holdens completed the top five.

Filling sixth through 10th were Jonathon Webb/Scott McLaughlin, Tim Slade/Andrew Thompson, Lee Holdsworth/Craig Baird, Russell Ingall/Christian Klien and James Moffat/Alex Davison.

Paul Dumbrell and Jamie Whincup with the Peter Brock Trophy

Paul Dumbrell and Jamie Whincup with the Peter Brock Trophy

The race was heavily impacted by tyre problems for the leading runners that began to strike less than 20 laps in.

While the two TeamVodafone cars were among those forced to make unscheduled pitstops due to ruined tyres within the first two stints of the race, both cars regained the lost track positon with a mixture of speed, strategy and the misfortune of others.

Ford Performance Racing’s two lead entries also suffered from the dramas, with the Winterbottom/Richards car surviving to run fifth before a tyre problem on Lap 129 forced the Orrcon Steel entry into making an additional stop. The pair eventually finished 11th.

The pole-sitting sister car of Will Davison/John McIntyre fared even worse. Their torrid day included two stints severely cut short by tyre problems, a drive-through for a pitlane infringement, a spin after contact at The Cutting and an eventual suspension failure through The Chase. The car was eventually repaired and finished 24th.

One place further down the oder were last year’s winners Garth Tander and Nick Percat after the latter crashed across the top of the Mountain in his first stint.

Brad Jones Racing’s Fabian Coulthard/David Besnard and Jason Bright/Andrew Jones cars also ran in the top 10 early before steering and tyre problems saw the two Holdens finish just 21st and 23rd respectively.

The two cars caused the final three Safety Cars of the race – the last of which was called on Lap 113 of 161 and set up a long two-stint fuel battle to the end.

Reynolds briefly fell behind Courtney in the closing stages until fading tyres on the factory Holden saw The Bottle-O Falcon drivers reverse the positions.

Whincup was being told to save fuel by his team as many as three times per lap during the final laps before holding on to take his first Bathurst win as a ‘lead’ driver.

The early tyre problem for the Lowndes/Luff pair put the Sandown winners behind their team-mates. That resulted in a repeat of the 2011 Bathurst race as car #888 lost time on multiple occasions while forced to queue in yellow-flag induced pitstops.

The situation saw Lowndes rejoin from his final stop in a net sixth position before eventually overhauling the ailing Courtney with just two laps to go.

Shane van Gisbergen’s difficult Bathurst record continued – the Kiwi finishing 12th alongside Luke Youlden after the pair’s race was ruined by the tyre problems.

Engineers spent much of the going warning their drivers to stay off key kerbs and run particularly cautiously while pressures were down following Safety Car periods and pitstops, but the caution taken often only prolonged the inevitable.

The Safety Car appeared six times through the race. The full course yellows were called on Lap 20 when the Michael Patrizi/Jonny Reid Holden stopped at the exit of The Cutting with a driveline failure, and subsequently returned on Lap 39 for debris, Lap 54 for a crash from Steve Owen (caused by brake problems following a pad change), Lap 92 for a stranded David Besnard (who spun at McPhillamy after suffering steering issues), Lap 105 for Andrew Jones (who went off at Murray’s Corner) then Lap 113 for Besnard (who also went off at Murray’s).

Jamie Whincup now leads team-mate Craig Lowndes in the championship standings by 161 points after 21 of 29 races. Mark Winterbottom sits a further 27 points adrift in third.

See below for the full race result

1 J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:01.3304
2 D.Reynolds/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:01.6433
3 C.Lowndes/W.Luff Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:10.1189
4 J.Courtney/C.McConville Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:10.8345
5 M.Caruso/G.Ritter Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:12.4332
6 J.Webb/S.McLaughlin Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:19.5156
7 T.Slade/A.Thompson Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:22.3738
8 L.Holdsworth/C.Baird Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:29.0058
9 R.Ingall/C.Klien Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:16:43.3869
10 J.Moffat/A.Davison Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:46.1079
11 M.Winterbottom/S.Richards Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:56.2806
12 S.Van Gisbergen/L.Youlden Ford Falcon FG 161 06:16:58.6215
13 G.Murphy/O.Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:01.6115
14 D.Wall/C.Pither Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:17.0366
15 R.Kelly/D.Russell Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:25.5827
16 A.Premat/J.Perkins Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:35.6426
17 S.Johnson/A.Simonsen Ford Falcon FG 161 06:17:35.8638
18 T.Kelly/T.Blanchard Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:47.5996
19 K.Reindler/D.Gaunt Holden Commodore VE2 161 06:17:48.2209
20 C.Waters/J.Dixon Holden Commodore VE2 158 06:17:30.1086
21 J.Bright/A.Jones Holden Commodore VE2 153 06:16:34.5298
22 D.Fiore/M.Halliday Ford Falcon FG 147 06:16:36.7285
23 F.Coulthard/D.Besnard Holden Commodore VE2 147 06:17:32.3699
24 W.Davison/J.McIntyre Ford Falcon FG 143 06:16:20.9005
25 G.Tander/N.Percat Holden Commodore VE2 139 06:16:22.0537
DNF T.D’Alberto/D.Wood Ford Falcon FG 122 04:56:40.7270
DNF T.Douglas/S.Pye Holden Commodore VE2  97 03:50:20.1016
DNF S.Owen/P.Morris Ford Falcon FG  53 02:04:42.1837
DNF Jonny Reid Holden Commodore VE2  19    41:57.1721

See below for the updated championship standings after 21 races

1 Jamie Whincup 2772
2 Craig Lowndes 2611
3 Mark Winterbottom 2584
4 Will Davison 2302
5 Shane Van Gisbergen 2020
6 Tim Slade 1854
7 Garth Tander 1824
8 David Reynolds 1680
9 Lee Holdsworth 1629
10 Fabian Coulthard 1613
11 James Courtney 1575
12 Michael Caruso 1517
13 Russell Ingall 1448
14 Jason Bright 1369
15 Rick Kelly 1326
16 Jonathon Webb 1314
17 Todd Kelly 1263
18 Steven Johnson 1233
19 Dean Fiore 1045
20 Steve Owen 1022
21 Michael Patrizi 1000
22 Tony D’Alberto  917
23 James Moffat  892
24 Karl Reindler  830
25 David Wall  829
26 Alexandre Premat  782
27 Taz Douglas  732
28 Paul Dumbrell  534
29 Warren Luff  527
30 Greg Murphy  502
31 Dean Canto  501
32 Cameron McConville  406
33 Andrew Thompson  390
34 Luke Youlden  386
35 Greg Ritter  371
36 Scott McLaughlin  368
37 Steven Richards  347
38 Craig Baird  343
39 David Russell  311
40 Nick Percat  297
41 Alex Davison  242
42 Andrew Jones  220
43 Chris Pither  210
44 Tim Blanchard  206
45 Jack Perkins  205
46 Matthew Halliday  188
47 Owen Kelly  187
48 John McIntyre  186
49 David Besnard  181
50 Daniel Gaunt  177
51 Christian Klien  168
52 Allan Simonsen  108
53 Jesse Dixon   90
54 Cameron Waters   90
55 Dale Wood   88
56 Scott Pye   64
57 Paul Morris   61
58 Jonny Reid   21

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