Whincup pounces to win Race 17 in the Top End

Jamie Whincup scores 71st win

Jamie Whincup scores 71st win

Jamie Whincup stamped his authority again to ace the field and win Race 17 at the SKYCITY Triple Crown meeting at Darwin’s Hidden Valley.

In a race which kept race stewards busy, Whincup kept out of trouble to produce a master class and extend his lead in the Championship Series.

Whincup capitalised on a costly race for his Red Bull Racing Australia team-mate Craig Lowndes who was snuffed out of the chances at the start of the second part of the heat.

In scoring his 71st career win Whincup beat Shane van Gisbergen (VIP Petfoods) Commodore with James Courtney (Holden Racing Team) finishing third.

van Gisbergen’s team-mate Jonathan Webb finished fourth after being involved in a late race incident when fighting for position with Jason Bright, who eventually finished eighth.

Rick Kelly produced Nissan’s best finish in the new era in fifth place with Erebus scoring its best finish by far with Tim Slade bringing the AMG E63 home in sixth ahead of DJR driver Chaz Mostert.

Inside the last 10 laps there was a battle royale looming between Mark Winterbottom who was beginning to apply pressure on second-placed David Reynolds, first home in the opening phase of the race.

Then Winterbottom made contact with Reynolds going into the hairpin, turning the Bottle-O driver around and snuffing out his chances of a decent result.

Winterbottom was given a drive-through and finished 22nd while Reynolds crossed the finish in 14th after promising so much from the pole position.

Earlier there was drama on the opening lap after the rolling start for the second part of the 60/60 Super Sprint with Will Davison spinning, causing a chain reaction behind him as the field stacked up going into the hairpin.

Lowndes rolled into the pits with a crumpled bonnet after a scrap with Garth Tander while Tim Blanchard’s #17 DJR Ford parked on the side of the track bringing out the safety car. Stewards announced a post-race investigation into the Lowndes/Tander incident.

The Red Bull driver was classified in 26th position, the last car to finish behind the non-finishing Will Davison and Blanchard.

In the opening 21-lap stanza of the race there was some contact between Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard mid-race with Bright capitalising and gaining two spots to shoot into eighth.

On the opening lap of the race Whincup managed to fire it into turn one in front of polesitter Reynolds, however the Ford driver gained the position back exiting the hairpin complex.

A further two 35-lap races will complete the meeting on Sunday.

RESULTS: Race 17 – SKYCITY Triple Crown : Hidden Valley Raceway Darwin

Pos No. Team Driver Car
1    1 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF
2   97 TEKNO Team VIP Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF
3   22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF
4   19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VF
5   15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima
6   47 Heavy Haulage Australia Racing Tim Slade Mercedes E63 AMG
7   12 Wilson Security Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG
8    8 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF
9    3 Team HIFLEX Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VF
10   36 Norton 360 Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima
11   33 Fujitsu Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Holden Commodore VF
12   14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF
13    2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF
14   55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG
15  360 Norton 360 Racing James Moffat Nissan Altima
16    9 SP Tools Racing Maro Engel Mercedes E63 AMG
17    7 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima
18    4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Mercedes E63 AMG
19   21 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VF
20   18 Jeld-wen FPR Ford Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG
21   34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VF
22    5 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG
23   66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VF
24   88 Dodo Insurance Racing Dean Fiore Holden Commodore VF
25   80 ekol Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF
26  888 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF
DNF    6 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG
DNF   17 Wilson Security Racing Tim Blanchard Ford Falcon FG

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Jamie Whincup 1317
2 Craig Lowndes 1093
3 Jason Bright 1005
4 Will Davison 1004
5 Fabian Coulthard 1000
6 Shane van Gisbergen  999
7 Garth Tander  932
8 James Courtney  911
9 Mark Winterbottom  887
10 Jonathon Webb  848
11 Scott McLaughlin  743
12 Rick Kelly  725
13 James Moffat  678
14 David Reynolds  661
15 Alex Davison  649
16 Alexandre Premat  586
17 Tony D’Alberto  545
18 Russell Ingall  544
19 Dean Fiore  520
20 Lee Holdsworth  485
21 Michael Caruso  471
22 David Wall  467
23 Tim Slade  459
24 Tim Blanchard  399
25 Scott Pye  387
26 Todd Kelly  339
27 Chaz Mostert  316
28 Maro Engel  236
29 Jonny Reid  149

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