Whincup leads home TeamVodafone one-two in Winton tyre battle

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has taken another step towards his fourth V8 Supercars title by leading home a TeamVodafone one-two in Race 27 at Winton.

Whincup and team-mate Craig Lowndes were separated by 3.2s at the chequered flag after a race dominated by tyre strategy.

Lee Holdsworth took his first podium since joining IRWIN Racing at the beginning of the season by sneaking ahead of an out-of-fuel Mark Winterbottom at the finish line.

James Moffat led much of the race having started on the soft tyres, but fell to fifth in the closing stages while running the slower rubber.

Tim Slade, Jonathon Webb, Garth Tander, Michael Patrizi and Tony D’Alberto rounded out the top 10.

Whincup’s 12th win of the season sees his championship lead over Winterbottom extend to 326 points with three races remaining.

The two title combatants both started Race 27 from the front-row on the hard tyres, but would soon take divergent strategies as Winterbottom led a train of cars – including that of Lowndes, Slade, Webb, Patrizi and D’Alberto – to the pitlane to switch to the softs under Safety Car at the end of Lap 1.

Whincup was left to fight those who had started on the softs during his opening stint, managing to only lose two places – to the soft-shod Moffat and Tander – prior to the mid-race round of stops.

Whincup then began the second stint with a 10 second deficit to Moffat, but with the tyre advantage now reversed, it took just 10 laps for the TeamVodafone Holden to take the lead for good.

Lowndes, Winterbottom and Holdsworth also overcame Moffat in the remaining 10 laps to the flag as the soft tyres proved more durable on the sun-bathed circuit than many had expected.

Winterbottom had earlier lost track position to Lowndes soon after their first stops while trying to avoid a concertina accident at Turn 9. The melee saw Shane van Gisbergen push Will Davison into Tim Blanchard, damaging the two Fords as they turned the Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden around.

The Safety Car had earlier been called on the opening lap after Jason Bright was spun while attempting to round Turn 3 side-by-side with both Rick Kelly and James Courtney. Bright had started from third on the soft tyres, but dropped several positions when nudged wide on the exit of Turn 2.

Michael Caruso also took damage in the early shuffle, which saw the Fujitsu Holden momentarily beached in the Turn 4 gravel.

Also in the wars were Greg Murphy and Alexandre Premat, who tangled soon after the restart when the Kiwi locked a left-front tyre at Turn 10, sending the Fujitsu Holden into a spin.

The early Safety Car eventually saw the race run to its maximum time – one circuit short of its scheduled 47 laps. The abbreviation was much to the benefit of Winterbottom, who needed a push from Reynolds to make it back to the pits on the slowdown lap.

A 200km race will round out the Winton V8 Supercars event tomorrow.

Result: V8 Supercars Race 27, Winton Motor Raceway

1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:08:36.3754
2 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:08:39.6107
3 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Falcon FG 46 01:08:49.9752
4 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 46 01:08:50.0127
5 Team Norton DJR James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 46 01:08:55.4305
6 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 46 01:08:57.1324
7 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:06.3248
8 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:08.7407
9 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:09.4380
10 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 46 01:09:14.6794
11 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 46 01:09:21.0011
12 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:22.7507
13 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:23.2640
14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:25.0784
15 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG 46 01:09:31.4190
16 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 46 01:09:35.1791
17 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:39.7512
18 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:40.9976
19 Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 46 01:09:47.5963
20 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:49.0210
21 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:09:55.6243
22 Jack Daniel’s Racing Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VE2 46 01:10:00.0407
23 Team iSelect Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VE2 45 01:09:33.1782
24 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 43 01:09:36.5844
DNF Pepsi Max Crew Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 21    37:36.8228
DNF Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 11    37:30.2897
DNF SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG  9    16:08.4699
DNF Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2

Championship Points: Top 28 after Race 27 of 30

1 Jamie Whincup 3510
2 Mark Winterbottom 3184
3 Craig Lowndes 3109
4 Will Davison 2779
5 Shane Van Gisbergen 2434
6 Tim Slade 2421
7 Garth Tander 2322
8 Lee Holdsworth 2042
9 David Reynolds 1947
10 Fabian Coulthard 1906
11 James Courtney 1844
12 Russell Ingall 1807
13 Rick Kelly 1672
14 Jonathon Webb 1669
15 Michael Caruso 1635
16 Jason Bright 1551
17 Steven Johnson 1516
18 Michael Patrizi 1268
19 Todd Kelly 1263
20 Dean Fiore 1230
21 Steve Owen 1192
22 James Moffat 1171
23 Tony D’Alberto 1068
24 David Wall 1067
25 Taz Douglas  954
26 Karl Reindler  928
27 Alexandre Premat  925
28 Greg Murphy  649

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