Lowndes takes points lead with Gold Coast win
Craig Lowndes has taken the V8 Supercars Championship lead after combining with Warren Luff to win Race 30 at Surfers Paradise.
The result came despite an early puncture for Luff that forced the #888 Red Bull Holden into an unscheduled pitstop.
Early Safety Cars contributed to a complex strategic battle that did not shake out until Lowndes took the lead for good with less than 20 laps remaining.
Shane van Gisbergen and Jeroen Bleekemolen finished second. The Kiwi had led Lowndes ahead of their final stops, but lost track position with a longer fuel fill required.
Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards completed the podium, with the former holding off a charging Tony D’Alberto in the closing laps.
Winterbottom’s final stop had come earlier than planned after a loose window yielded a mechanical black flag.
Russell Ingall continued his strong street circuit form this season by finishing fifth alongside Ryan Briscoe after steering clear of trouble during a frantic race.
Race 30 was a disaster for erstwhile points leader Jamie Whincup, who watched on as co-driver Paul Dumbrell tangled with Greg Murphy in the early stages.
The contact put Murphy into the wall at the beachside chicane and immediately out of the race, while Dumbrell pulled his crumpled car over a short time later with a driveline failure.
Fabian Coulthard was another hard luck story having appeared set for a podium finish until a heavy kerb strike broke the right-front corner of the Brad Jones Racing Holden with less than 20 laps remaining.
All four Nissans ran strongly at the mid-point of the race, but an 11th for Rick Kelly/Karl Reindler would prove the team’s best result.
Michael Caruso’s Altima retired just after halfway following front-end damage caused by the circuit’s aggressive kerbs, while James Moffat pulled off with less than five to go with an engine failure while running ninth.
Others to strike trouble included McLaughlin/Perkins (electrical), Engel/Johnson (broken damper), A.Davison/McIntyre (contact between Alex and brother Will), Blanchard/Walsh (clutch) and Tander/Percat.
Tander and Percat had one of the fastest cars for the majority of the race, but lost two laps after the car stalled at its penultimate pitstop and failed to restart.
A second 300km leg will complete the Armor All Gold Coast 600 on Sunday.
See below for the full Race 30 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||C.Lowndes/W.Luff||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:10.61|
|2||TEKNO Team VIP Petfoods||S.Van Gisbergen/J.Bleekemolen||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:19.32|
|3||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||M.Winterbottom/S.Richards||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:12:23.33|
|4||Team HIFLEX||T.D’Alberto/J.Reid||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:23.70|
|5||Supercheap Auto Racing||R.Ingall/R.Briscoe||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:28.85|
|6||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||W.Davison/S.Owen||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:12:36.72|
|7||Wilson Security Racing||D.Wall/C.Pither||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:42.72|
|8||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||D.Reynolds/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:12:44.09|
|9||Wilson Security Racing||C.Mostert/D.Wood||Ford Falcon FG||102||02:12:45.84|
|10||TEKNO Team Darrell Lea||J.Webb/M.Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:12:46.14|
|11||Jack Daniel’s Racing||R.Kelly/K.Reindler||Nissan Altima||102||02:12:46.57|
|12||Irwin Racing||L.Holdsworth/C.Baird||Mercedes E63 AMG||102||02:12:48.72|
|13||Hogs Breath Cafe Racing||S.Pye/P.Morris||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:13:02.57|
|14||Fujitsu Racing GRM||A.Premat/G.Ritter||Holden Commodore VF||102||02:13:05.02|
|15||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||T.Slade/D.Brabham||Mercedes E63 AMG||102||02:13:05.63|
|16||Dodo Insurance Racing||D.Fiore/M.Halliday||Holden Commodore VF||101||02:12:12.07|
|17||Jack Daniel’s Racing||T.Kelly/D.Russell||Nissan Altima||101||02:12:14.40|
|18||Holden Racing Team||G.Tander/N.Percat||Holden Commodore VF||99||02:12:28.35|
|19||Wilson Security Racing||T.Blanchard/A.Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||97||02:12:22.12|
|20||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||A.Davison/J.McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||97||02:12:48.45|
|21||SP Tools Racing||M.Engel/S.Johnson||Mercedes E63 AMG||96||02:12:30.63|
|22||Fujitsu Racing GRM||S.McLaughlin/J.Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||92||02:13:04.37|
|DNF||Norton Hornets||J.Moffat/T.Douglas||Nissan Altima||97||02:06:43.47|
|DNF||Lockwood Racing||F.Coulthard/L.Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:50:07.03|
|DNF||Norton Hornets||M.Caruso/D.Gaunt||Nissan Altima||60||01:22:14.26|
|DNF||Red Bull Racing Australia||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||21||28:45.00|
|DNF||Holden Racing Team||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||18||26:26.14|
See below for the updated points after Race 30 (Top 28 only)
|5||Shane Van Gisbergen||2052|