Whincup back on top in Austin 400 finale
Jamie Whincup finished off a strong weekend for Red Bull Racing Australia in Austin, Texas, by returning to the top of the podium in the fourth and final 100km sprint.
Having finished third in Race 15 earlier in the afternoon, Whincup led away from pole in Race 16 and was unstoppable for the duration.
Race 15 winner Fabian Coulthard shadowed Whincup for much of the journey but could not find a way around his rival during the critical lap after the Red Bull Holden’s pitstop.
Almost three seconds separated the pair at the finish, with third placed Shane van Gisbergen a further 8.4s adrift.
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Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Jason Bright, Rick Kelly, Jonathon Webb and James Courtney completed the top 10.
Starting from just 12th after a difficult qualifying session, Lowndes gained much of his ground in the pitstop cycle.
Bright repeated his Saturday strategy of running longer than many of his rivals. The Team BOC Holden had taken on four new tyres and rejoined in a net 10th with seven laps to go before getting the better of Webb and Kelly in the closing stages.
The race was punctuated by an early Safety Car following contact between Will Davison and Scott McLaughlin at Turn 12.
The FPR Falcon driver had lost control while attempting to pass Lowndes, subsequently clobbering McLaughlin at the apex.
The Austin 400 was run in front of a claimed 68,000 strong weekend crowd; over double that achieved for the recently two-day Grand-Am sportscar event at the Circuit of the Americas.
Whincup has now extended his championship lead over team-mate Lowndes to 142 points after 16 races.
See below for the full Race 16 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:20.7325|
|2||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:23.4986|
|3||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:29.0933|
|4||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:31.3250|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:32.1168|
|6||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||27||47:33.6853|
|7||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:35.5078|
|8||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||27||47:35.6639|
|9||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:38.0389|
|10||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:39.8014|
|11||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:41.6173|
|12||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:41.8834|
|13||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||27||47:43.5561|
|14||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||27||47:46.3831|
|15||Wilson Security Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||27||47:47.1489|
|16||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:49.6995|
|17||Heavy Haulage Australia||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||27||47:50.6353|
|18||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:52.7214|
|19||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||27||47:52.9796|
|20||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||27||47:54.2719|
|21||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||27||47:57.0812|
|22||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||27||48:00.0132|
|23||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||27||48:06.0289|
|24||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||27||48:25.7264|
|25||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||27||48:36.2602|
|26||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||27||48:55.4836|
|27||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||22||49:00.9419|
|DNF||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||3||4:53.0663|
See below for the updated points standings
|6||Shane Van Gisbergen||907|