Bright seizes on Whincup misfortune in Race 10

Jason Bright took the ANZAC opener in NZ

Jason Bright took the ANZAC opener in NZ

Jason Bright capitalised on a power steering problem for Jamie Whincup to score victory in the opening race of the weekend at the ITM 500 Auckland.

Starting from pole, the Team BOC Holden driver lost the front-running off the grid thanks to a sensational start from fellow front-row man Whincup.

The Red Bull Holden led the first third of the race before sliding off at Turn 1 with a steering issue. Whincup eventually finished 24th, seven laps down.

Bright was left to control the race until reaching its time cut-off two laps short of the scheduled 100km distance.

“That was a pretty good win,” said Bright.

“We have had a pretty tough start to the year and really wanted to come back and win this one.

“That is a good start to the weekend. Pole was great this morning and to be leading the points for the weekend heading into tonight is something special.”

Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes, James Courtney, Will Davison and Nick Percat completed the top six.

“Brighty was driving so good then and his car was awesome as well and I couldn’t match him, but we’ll take P2 and build on it for the rest of the weekend,” noted van Gisbergen.

Lowndes’ third place finish was good enough for him to extend his championship lead to 49 points.

Second placed man in the standings, Mark Winterbottom, had been running seventh in the closing stages before dropping to 13th with a spin at the hairpin.

The race ran time-certain due to a long early Safety Car in order to recover David Wall’s heavily damaged Dick Johnson Racing Falcon.

Side-to-side contact with Chaz Mostert had sent Wall spinning into the fence on the left-hand side at Turn 10.

The former Australian GT champion escaped from the incident, which will be the subject of a post-race investigation, unharmed.

The car will not take part in the remaining three races of the weekend.

RESULTS : Race 1 – ITM 500 Auckland – Pukekohe Park

Position Car Driver Team Car
1   8  Jason Bright Team BOC  Holden Commodore VF
2  97  Shane Van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods  Holden Commodore VF
3 888  Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF
4  22  James Courtney Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF
5   9  Will Davison Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG
6 222  Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing  Holden Commodore VF
7  14  Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing  Holden Commodore VF
8  33  Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60
9   2  Garth Tander Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF
10 360  James Moffat Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima
11  47  Tim Slade Supercheap Auto Racing  Holden Commodore VF
12   4  Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG
13   5  Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG
14  55  David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team  Ford Falcon FG
15  23  Russell Ingall Repair Management Aust Racing  Holden Commodore VF
16   7  Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima
17  36  Michael Caruso Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima
18  16  Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing  Ford Falcon FG
19  18  Jack Perkins Team JELD-WEN  Ford Falcon FG
20  15  Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima
21   6  Chaz Mostert Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG
22  34  Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60
23  21  Dale Wood Team Advam/GB  Holden Commodore VF
24   1  Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF
DNF  17  David Wall Wilson Security Racing  Ford Falcon FG



Position Driver Points
1  Craig Lowndes   744
2  Mark Winterbottom   695
3  Fabian Coulthard   690
4  James Courtney   649
5  Jamie Whincup   617
6  Shane Van Gisbergen   595
7  Tim Slade   497
8  David Reynolds   474
9  Lee Holdsworth   463
10  Jason Bright   455
11  Will Davison   442
12  Scott McLaughlin   436
13  James Moffat   399
14  Garth Tander   397
15  Russell Ingall   397
16  Michael Caruso   392
17  Rick Kelly   384
18  David Wall   370
19  Jack Perkins   347
20  Chaz Mostert   336
21  Scott Pye   335
22  Dale Wood   327
23  Todd Kelly   275
24  Nick Percat   250
25  Robert Dahlgren   187


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