Jamie Whincup battles to Townsville V8 Supercars win
|Sunday, July 8th 2012, 07:18 GMT|
Jamie Whincup came through from ninth on the grid to narrowly beat Triple Eight team-mate Craig Lowndes and complete a double victory in the V8 Supercars' Townsville weekend.
The reigning champion only made quiet progress in the opening stint, as polesitter David Reynolds in the Rod Nash/Ford Performance Racing car fended off FPR's Mark Winterbottom at the front.
By the middle of the race, FPR trio Reynolds, Winterbottom and Will Davison were leading Lowndes and Whincup in a tense five-car train. Whincup was able to slip past Lowndes when his team-mate accidentally triggered the pitlane speed limiter, and then got involved in a place-swapping dice with Davison.
The final pitstops proved critical. Lowndes jumped Winterbottom as both stopped on lap 42. Then one lap later Reynolds, Whincup and Davison came in as one, with Triple Eight vaulting Whincup to the head of the pack as he rejoined just in front of Lowndes and Davison, with Winterbottom and Reynolds falling to fourth and fifth.
The Triple Eight duo then pulled clear, and with no team orders, Lowndes made concerted efforts to grab the lead. Twice he managed to get ahead only for Whincup to repass on the corner exit. The final 1.8-second victory margin was the biggest the gap had been for many laps.
Davison held third, while a charge after a late safety car period took Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) past Reynolds and Winterbottom into fourth.
Tekno's Jonathon Webb and Tander's team-mate James Courtney were the only two to run soft tyres in the first stint and led, but fell back to eighth and 15th respectively. Shane van Gisbergen charged up from 18th to seventh for Stone Brothers.
Jacques Villeneuve made the finish this time for Kelly Racing, a lap down in 24th.
Results - 72 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden 1h33m49.2414s 2. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden + 1.8437s 3. Will Davison FPR Ford + 5.3649s 4. Garth Tander HRT Holden + 6.9946s 5. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford + 8.1286s 6. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 8.4670s 7. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford + 11.4034s 8. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 12.5865s 9. Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden + 13.2060s 10. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 13.5266s 11. Steve Owen Dick Johnson Ford + 14.3787s 12. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 14.6334s 13. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford + 15.6934s 14. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford + 16.0879s 15. James Courtney HRT Holden + 20.2601s 16. Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden + 20.6962s 17. Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden + 21.5998s 18. Dean Fiore Triple F Ford + 22.0601s 19. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden + 22.9822s 20. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden + 24.2475s 21. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden + 25.0567s 22. Karl Reindler Kelly Holden + 26.4256s 23. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford + 26.8380s 24. Jacques Villeneuve Kelly Holden + 1 lap 25. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden + 6 laps 26. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford + 10 laps Retirements: Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden 44 laps Russell Ingall Walkinshaw Holden 7 laps