Lowndes scores sixth Bathurst 1000 victory
Craig Lowndes and co-driver Steven Richards have taken victory in a typically dramatic Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Lowndes vaulted ahead of David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom with a shorter fuel fill in the final pitstop under the Safety Car before sprinting away to victory.
Winterbottom and Steve Owen recovered from early electrical issues and a mid-race penalty to finish second, marking another significant step in the former’s title bid.
Garth Tander made the most of some frantic battling on the final restart with 18 laps remaining to take third alongside his co-driver Warren Luff.
All three cars had started outside the top 10 following Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying.
The final stops provided a dramatic twist when, running directly behind Reynolds, Winterbottom and Lowndes, Jamie Whincup ignored team orders to pit.
The six-time champion overtook the Safety Car as he blazed around for another lap and was later forced to take a drive-through as a result.
Whincup and co-driver Dumbrell were the fastest combination for the majority of the day, with the former excelling during a brief rain shower mid-race.
The former managed to pull a 30 second lead over the field before losing track position when the team had to attend to a throttle position sensor issue at the next pitstop.
Fabian Coulthard/Luke Youlden, Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat and David Reynolds/Dean Canto completed the top six.
Reynolds was on course for second at the final restart before a dive-bomb from Coulthard shuffled the order; allowing Tander to carve through the pack.
Jason Bright and Andrew Jones were seventh after a late mistake from Shane van Gisbergen, who took the flag eighth.
Van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb were among the front-runners until losing bulk track position stacking behind the DJR Team Penske Ford during the mid-race rush for wets.
DJRTP’s day ultimately came to a sorry end as Scott Pye caused the final yellow with a heavy crash at the top of the hill.
The South Australian managed to exit the car under his own power before being taken to the medical centre for further checks.
The Tim Blanchard/Karl Reindler Holden and Andre Heimgartner/Ant Pedersen Ford crashed out earlier in the day, while David Wall’s day lasted just 15 laps before engine failure struck.
Fluid from the Volvo caught out Renee Gracie; the Supergirls Ford requiring significant front-end repairs after head-butting the tyre wall.
The result though was all about Lowndes, who took a sixth victory as well as moving clear at the top of the all-time Bathurst podium finishes tally with 13.
Richards meanwhile picked up his fourth victory, handing Holden its 30th win on the mountain in the process.
Result: V8 Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||C.Lowndes/S.Richards||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:07.7064|
|2||Pepsi Max Crew||M.Winterbottom/S.Owen||Ford Falcon FG/X||161||06:16:09.0718|
|3||Holden Racing Team||G.Tander/W.Luff||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:11.6580|
|4||Freightliner Racing||F.Coulthard/L.Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:12.1230|
|5||Wilson Security Racing GRM||S.McLaughlin/A.Premat||Volvo S60||161||06:16:17.4211|
|6||The Bottle-O Racing Team||D.Reynolds/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG/X||161||06:16:18.6895|
|7||Team BOC||J.Bright/A.Jones||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:19.7160|
|8||Team Darrell Lea STIX||S.Van Gisbergen/J.Webb||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:22.0181|
|9||Walkinshaw Racing||L.Holdsworth/S.Bourdais||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:22.4262|
|10||Nissan Motorsport||J.Moffat/T.Douglas||Nissan Altima||161||06:16:27.8991|
|11||Holden Racing Team||J.Perkins/R.Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:28.9028|
|12||Erebus Motorsport V8||W.Davison/A.Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||161||06:16:29.3302|
|13||Nissan Motorsport||M.Caruso/D.Fiore||Nissan Altima||161||06:16:37.2862|
|14||Supercheap Auto Racing||T.Slade/T.D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:39.2995|
|15||GB Galvanizing Racing||D.Wood/M.Jones||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:39.6848|
|16||Nissan Motorsport||R.Kelly/D.Russell||Nissan Altima||161||06:16:42.9087|
|17||Plus Fitness / Go Karts Go||A.Russell/D.Russell||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:16:51.2900|
|18||Red Bull Racing Australia||J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||161||06:17:09.6680|
|19||Repair Management Aust Racing||N.Percat/O.Gavin||Holden Commodore VF||159||06:16:47.0682|
|20||Nissan Motorsport||T.Kelly/A.Buncombe||Nissan Altima||156||06:17:31.9445|
|21||Harvey Norman Supergirls||S.De Silvestro/R.Gracie||Ford Falcon FG/X||121||06:17:51.3685|
|DNF||DJR Team Penske||S.Pye/M.Ambrose||Ford Falcon FG/X||137||05:18:32.4136|
|DNF||Erebus Motorsport V8||A.Walsh/J.Le Brocq||Mercedes E63 AMG||135||05:18:29.6913|
|DNF||Team Cooldrive||T.Blanchard/K.Reindler||Holden Commodore VF||78||02:57:48.9354|
|DNF||Super Black Racing||A.Heimgartner/A.Pedersen||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||2:08.4341|
|DNF||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||15||2:09.5426|
|7||Shane Van Gisbergen||1800|
|46||Jack Le Borcq||96|
|48||Simona De Silvestro||84|