Whincup leads Red Bull one-two in Race 13
Jamie Whincup has continued his strong international V8 Supercars record by scoring victory in the first championship race to be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Whincup took the lead from pole-sitter Fabian Coulthard off the start, pulling a 2.5s lead on the field before pitting for rear tyres as soon as the window opened on Lap 10.
Lowndes took seven laps to pass Coulthard, who struggled for rear-grip in the early stages, and ran five laps longer than Whincup before taking new rear tyres of his own.
Rejoining just 0.5s behind Whincup, Lowndes struggled to find a balance in the second stint, eventually taking the flag 0.9s adrift in second.
Whincup has now won 17 of the last 25 V8 Supercars races held offshore.
Coulthard was eight seconds behind Lowndes in third at the flag ahead of Will Davison, Garth Tander, Rick Kelly, Jonathon Webb, Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney and David Wall.
Kelly’s sixth place finish is the best for a Nissan Altima and came after the 2006 champion got the better of Webb on the final lap.
Winterbottom meanwhile had lost two positions with a big lock-up at Turn 1 while trying to pass Tander late in the going.
Jason Bright, Scott Pye and Michael Caruso ran until the penultimate lap before pitting for tyres, eventually finishing 12th, 15th and 20th respectively.
Several drivers struck trouble early, with Scott McLaughlin’s Fujitsu Holden enduring rear-suspension damage after a Turn 1 clash with Todd Kelly.
The Safety Car was soon called for an incident later in the lap that had seen Maro Engel spear off and rejoin without major damage.
Lee Holdsworth and Shane van Gisbergen struck mechanical issues in the form of steering and engine problems respectively. Both cars were able to see the chequered flag, with Van Gisbergen’s issue as simple as re-attaching a plug lead.
The Kiwi had started from the rear of the field after an indiscretion in qualifying.
A post-race investigation was undertaken into a report that Lowndes had spun his rear wheels in his pitstop, however it was deemed that the three-time champion had no case to answer.
Lowndes had also been one of several to receive a bad sportsmanship flag for failing to give racing room during the race.
The results ensure that Whincup has extended his championship advantage to 80 points over second placed Will Davison.
A second 100km race will follow at 1700 local time.
See below for the full race result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:20.8482|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:21.7512|
|3||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:29.4762|
|4||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||27||44:33.5378|
|5||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:35.2005|
|6||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||27||44:36.3670|
|7||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:37.2297|
|8||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||27||44:40.1815|
|9||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:42.1811|
|10||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:46.7534|
|11||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||27||44:47.7963|
|12||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||27||44:54.4590|
|13||Wilson Security Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||27||44:55.1334|
|14||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||27||45:00.6573|
|15||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||27||45:01.3113|
|16||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||27||45:01.3411|
|17||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF||27||45:02.6118|
|18||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||27||45:03.4374|
|19||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||27||45:03.8504|
|20||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||27||45:03.8939|
|21||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||27||45:09.0249|
|22||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||27||45:09.4538|
|23||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||27||45:11.5496|
|24||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||27||45:20.8547|
|25||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||27||45:39.1242|
|26||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||25||45:44.4886|
|27||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||24||44:53.0103|
|28||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||23||44:45.3249|