Will Davison and Mika Salo have combined to win Race 23 of the V8 Supercars Championship at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
A race dominated by strategy and debris Safety Cars ended with Davison holding out Saturday winner Jamie Whincup over a final seven lap sprint to the flag.
The pair were separated by just 0.5s at the end of the 102 laps, with Davison holding on to break TeamVodafone’s 11 race winning streak.
The combined results from the two races see Whincup’s co-driver Sebastien Bourdais win the Dan Wheldon Trophy for the second consecutive year.
The Mark Winterbottom/Will Power FPR Ford finished third ahead of Tim Slade/David Brabham, Garth Tander/Ryan Briscoe, Craig Lowndes/Richard Lyons, Russell Ingall/Peter Dumbreck, Lee Holdsworth/Simon Pagenaud, Shane van Gisbergen/Jeroen Bleekemolen and Fabian Coulthard/Nicolas Minassian.
Davison’s chances looked bleak in the early when Salo locked a front-tyre on just the third lap, leaving the Finn struggling to keep pace behind leaders Bourdais and Marc Lieb.
The Trading Post FPR team’s prayers were answered when the Safety Car (to reset the tyre bundle at Turn 1) appeared on Lap 13, allowing Salo to pit. One of several to take the option, the strategy saw Salo stay in the car for a full 65 laps before handing over to Davison.
TeamVodafone meanwhile ran the conventional strategy of leaving its co-drivers on track until their minimum 34 laps were complete, allowing Bourdais and Whincup to lead much of the going.
Stone Brothers Racing took a third option, calling Brabham in under a Safety Car (for debris) that fell just shy of the co-driver window, leaving the part-timer to complete two full stints in Slade’s car.
The next debris Safety Car on Lap 72 triggered race leader Whincup’s final stop, from which he rejoined behind Slade and Davison. It didn’t take long for the duo to dispose of the Lucky 7 Ford on the restart, but the TeamVodafone driver could do little about his Ford rival, despite having tyres that were some 16 laps fresher.
Winterbottom, whose car ran a similar strategy to Whincup’s, climbed passed Ingall, Tander and Slade following the penultimate restart before settling into third.
Tander, Ingall, Holdsworth and Coulthard all finished in the Top 10 after following the winning car’s strategy, while Van Gisbergen climbed to ninth after running to the more conventional driver windows.
Lowndes’ sixth place, meanwhile, came despite a clutch problem that emerged midrace, forcing the three-time champion to turn his car off during its second pitstop, costing valuable seconds.
The Jonathon Webb/Marc Lieb and James Courtney/Darren Turner Holdens both ran in the top 10 for much of the day before a penalty for excessive kerb hopping and a late incident with Ingall respectively dropped the two cars down the order.
Just 24 cars started the race following yesterday’s carnage and Michael Patrizi’s qualifying accident this morning.
The James Moffat/Peter Kox entry was on the sidelines after suffering a driveline failure at the start, ensuring Moffat would complete no racing laps for the second consecutive day.
Stephane Sarrazin also had an early shower after breaking the Team BOC Holden on the Turn 11 concrete on Lap 19, while Michael Caruso was forced to abandon the #34 Fujitsu Holden in the Turn 4 escape road after being released from his pitstop without a right-rear wheel.
Tim Blanchard and Marco Andretti were the only other retirement – the Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden parked after 69 laps with differential issues.
Whincup now leads Winterbottom by 218 points with just three events and seven races remaining.
See below for the full race result
|1||W.Davison/M.Salo||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:06.9161|
|2||J.Whincup/S.Bourdais||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:07.4184|
|3||M.Winterbottom/W.Power||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:09.1092|
|4||T.Slade/D.Brabham||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:11.6744|
|5||G.Tander/R.Briscoe||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:13.6366|
|6||C.Lowndes/R.Lyons||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:16.8583|
|7||R.Ingall/P.Dumbreck||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:18.4049|
|8||L.Holdsworth/S.Pagenaud||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:18.5227|
|9||S.Van Gisbergen/||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:19.6140|
|10||F.Coulthard/N.Minassian||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:19.7651|
|11||R.Kelly/G.Rahal||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:20.7902|
|12||S.Johnson/M.Papis||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:20.8178|
|13||D.Reynolds/N.Heidfeld||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:16:21.4886|
|14||J.Webb/M.Lieb||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:23.9291|
|15||D.Wall/J.Campbell-Walter||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:24.9199|
|16||T.Douglas/M.Conway||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:16:28.2945|
|17||J.Courtney/D.Turner||Holden Commodore VE2||102||02:17:22.3403|
|18||S.Owen/B.Said||Ford Falcon FG||101||02:16:50.3348|
|19||D.Fiore/G.Morbidelli||Ford Falcon FG||91||02:16:51.9380|
|20||G.Murphy/J.Wilson||Holden Commodore VE2||88||02:16:59.6452|
|DNF||T.Blanchard/M.Andretti||Holden Commodore VE2||69||01:47:28.0969|
|DNF||M.Caruso/J.Hinchcliffe||Holden Commodore VE2||34||48:31.0935|
|DNF||Stephane Sarrazin||Holden Commodore VE2||18||27:23.2452|
|DNF||Peter Kox||Ford Falcon FG|
See below for the updated championship points after 23 of 30 races (Top 28 only)
|5||Shane Van Gisbergen||2182|