Courtney breaks victory drought in Winton finale

James Courtney

James Courtney

James Courtney became the 12th different winner of a tumultuous 2013 V8 Supercars Championship in a thrilling end to the Winton 360.

The win marks the first for Courtney since February, 2011, and comes just weeks after signing a new three-year contract with the Holden Racing Team.

Courtney led the entire 34 lap journey, which had proven processional until the Safety Car was called with 10 laps remaining.

Almost half the field, led by fifth placed Garth Tander and seventh placed Fabian Coulthard, took the opportunity to dive to pitlane for new tyres.

Coulthard was the highest placed of the stoppers at the restart, charging from 13th to be just 2.8s adrift of Courtney in second by the chequered flag.

The Kiwi may well have won the race if not for another late Safety Car, called just one lap after the restart, to retrieve Jason Bright’s stranded car from Turn 11.

Bright, having earlier fallen from second on the grid to fifth with a poor start, had been attempting to take third from Will Davison when he went off.

Chaz Mostert, who had run second for much of the race, gallantly hung onto third in a rough-and-tumble final lap fight with Tander.

Shane van Gisbergen was another to take new tyres and finished ahead of Davison in fifth.

Running third in the closing stages, Davison briefly led the race by spearing off at Turn 5 and rejoining at Turn 9.

Quickly dropping back into his previous position, the FPR Ford driver fell back to sixth by the flag ahead of fellow non-stoppers David Reynolds, James Moffat and Tim Blanchard.

Moffat’s result aside, it was a disastrous outing for Nissan, with its other three cars failing to finish due to crash damage.

Todd Kelly was spun into the right-side fence on the run to Turn 1 after a tag with Jamie Whincup, causing an opening lap Safety Car.

Brother Rick was the cause of the second Safety Car after contact with Mark Winterbottom heading into the Turn 5 sweeper broke the Altima’s rear suspension.

A final lap crash for Michael Caruso completed the woes.

Another in trouble was Scott Pye, whose Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden caught fire after its exhaust had become bent in the opening lap scrum.

Whincup’s championship lead over second placed Craig Lowndes now sits at 47 points heading into the first of the endurance races at Sandown in September.

See below for the Race 27 result

1 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 34 55:19.84
2 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 34 55:22.79
3 Wilson Security Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG 34 55:24.38
4 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 34 55:24.54
5 TEKNO Team VIP Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 34 55:24.80
6 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 34 55:25.90
7 The Bottle-O FPR Ford David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 34 55:26.44
8 Norton 360 Racing James Moffat Nissan Altima 34 55:26.88
9 Wilson Security Racing Tim Blanchard Ford Falcon FG 34 55:28.54
10 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 34 55:33.65
11 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VF 34 55:34.03
12 Jeld-wen FPR Ford Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 34 55:34.40
13 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 34 55:34.55
14 Fujitsu Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Holden Commodore VF 34 55:34.73
15 Heavy Haulage Australia Racing Tim Slade Mercedes E63 AMG 34 55:34.96
16 Dodo Insurance Racing Dean Fiore Holden Commodore VF 34 55:35.37
17 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 34 55:35.55
18 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VF 34 55:35.77
19 SP Tools Racing Maro Engel Mercedes E63 AMG 34 55:36.46
20 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Mercedes E63 AMG 34 55:38.89
21 Team HIFLEX Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VF 34 55:44.00
22 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VF 34 56:02.62
DNF Norton 360 Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 33 54:06.71
DNF Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 25 40:19.16
DNF Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 21 32:53.88
DNF ekol Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF
DNF Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima

See below for the updated points standings

1 Jamie Whincup 1847
2 Will Davison 1792
3 Mark Winterbottom 1777
4 Craig Lowndes 1775
5 Fabian Coulthard 1709
6 James Courtney 1687
7 Jason Bright 1649
8 Shane Van Gisbergen 1632
9 Garth Tander 1602
10 Scott McLaughlin 1318
11 Jonathon Webb 1282
12 David Reynolds 1222
13 James Moffat 1155
14 Rick Kelly 1101
15 Alex Davison 1080
16 Tony D’Alberto 1015
17 Alexandre Premat 899
18 Chaz Mostert 892
19 Russell Ingall 839
20 Tim Slade 821
21 Dean Fiore 820
22 Michael Caruso 809
23 David Wall 785
24 Tim Blanchard 703
25 Todd Kelly 689
26 Scott Pye 649
27 Lee Holdsworth 635
28 Maro Engel 576
29 Jonny Reid 149


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