HRT emphatically breaks victory drought

Tander and Courtney celebrate on the podium

Tander and Courtney celebrate on the podium

A calculated strategy gamble has helped the Holden Racing Team to a stunning one-two finish in Race 21 of the V8 Supercars Championship in Townsville.

Garth Tander led home team-mate James Courtney to a form finish after a race that was thrown on its head by a Lap 9 Safety Car.

With the whole field having started on the hard tyres, the HRT Commodores were two of several to pit and opt for two stints home on softs.

Despite needing to recyle the softs it used on Saturday as part of the strategy, the HRT duo filtered to the front once the pitstop cycles were complete to run home unchallenged over the final 20 laps.

Not even a hefty side-on clout with the Turn 10 exit wall in the early laps of his second stint could stop Tander’s charge, which breaks a victory drought stretching back to Bathurst, 2011.

Shane van Gisbergen took third after running a similar hard-soft-soft strategy to the HRT and his Tekno team-mate Jonathon Webb. The second Tekno entry ran as high as fourth in the closing stages before fading to 12th.

Mark Winterbottom led the early laps from pole but, along with team-mate Will Davison, elected not to pit under the early Safety Car and was never a true contender thereafter.

Russell Ingall and Tony D’Alberto made it four Walkinshaw-built Holdens in the top six, while Craig Lowndes, Tim Slade, Scott McLaughlin and Will Davison completed the top 10.

Points leader Jamie Whincup too followed the conventional single-stop strategy and could do no better than 11th.

Lee Holdsworth’s IRWIN Mercedes was the only retirement after triggering the Safety Car by grinding to a halt with an engine problem on the run to Turn 11.

David Reynolds also endured a tough run, falling out of contention after dropping a cylinder while placed second to Winterbottom.

Whincup leaves Townsville with a reduced 111 points lead over team-mate Lowndes, with Davison and Winterbottom also in striking distance in third and fourth.

See below for the full Race 21 result

1 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 01:30:04.1639 1:14.0127
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 01:30:04.4830 1:13.9505
3 TEKNO Team VIP Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 01:30:13.5491 1:13.9319
4 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 01:30:25.7667 1:14.3657
5 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VF 01:30:31.6601 1:14.1909
6 Team HIFLEX Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VF 01:30:31.9113 1:14.0973
7 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 01:30:32.5797 1:14.2647
8 Heavy Haulage Australia Racing Tim Slade Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30:34.2168 1:14.0378
9 Fujitsu Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Holden Commodore VF 01:30:38.6971 1:14.4242
10 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 01:30:41.0017 1:14.3212
11 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 01:30:41.1436 1:14.3661
12 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VF 01:30:41.7028 1:14.4280
13 Wilson Security Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG 01:30:50.6356 1:14.3521
14 Norton 360 Racing James Moffat Nissan Altima 01:30:51.9295 1:14.4995
15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 01:30:53.7465 1:14.4089
16 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 01:30:56.0802 1:14.3670
17 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 01:30:56.7994 1:14.5728
18 Jeld-wen FPR Ford Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 01:30:59.3225 1:14.2479
19 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VF 01:30:59.7491 1:14.4371
20 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 01:31:03.8867 1:14.5206
21 ekol Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 01:31:04.1821 1:14.4103
22 Norton 360 Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 01:31:12.7810 1:14.4376
23 Wilson Security Racing Tim Blanchard Ford Falcon FG 01:31:12.8491 1:14.3125
24 Dodo Insurance Racing Dean Fiore Holden Commodore VF 01:30:14.2590 1:14.6014
25 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VF 01:30:41.8085 1:14.1332
26 The Bottle-O FPR Ford David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 01:31:03.2834 1:15.4498
27 SP Tools Racing Maro Engel Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30:48.6833 1:16.2359
DNF Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Mercedes E63 AMG     7:49.4783 1:15.9607

See below for the updated points standings

1 Jamie Whincup  1591
2 Craig Lowndes  1480
3 Will Davison  1376
4 Mark Winterbottom  1337
5 Shane Van Gisbergen  1310
6 Garth Tander  1302
7 Fabian Coulthard  1291
8 Jason Bright  1269
9 James Courtney  1243
10 Jonathon Webb  1104
11 Scott McLaughlin   966
12 Rick Kelly   905
13 David Reynolds   898
14 James Moffat   825
15 Alex Davison   814
16 Tony D’Alberto   753
17 Alexandre Premat   725
18 Russell Ingall   711
19 Michael Caruso   637
20 Dean Fiore   630
21 Tim Slade   597
22 David Wall   581
23 Tim Blanchard   533
24 Chaz Mostert   532
25 Todd Kelly   532
26 Lee Holdsworth   523
27 Scott Pye   510
28 Maro Engel   390
29 Jonny Reid   149


Comments are closed.