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Adelaide V8 Supercars: Whincup holds off Lowndes in race one

Jamie Whincup began his bid for an unprecedented sixth V8 Supercars title with a win in the season opening race in Adelaide.

Triple Eight team-mate Craig Lowndes had beaten the reigning champion as they entered Turn 1 for the first time, which forced Whincup to adopt a different race strategy.

On lap four of 39, Whincup made his compulsory pitstop in an attempt to benefit from running in clean air at the back of the field, and it paid off.

A succession of fastest laps allowed him to filter his way through the pack and he eventually took command of the race on lap 14 when Lowndes encountered a slow stop after a problem removing his right-rear tyre.

The Triple Eight duo then held their positions until the chequered flag, with Shane van Gisbergen claiming the final podium spot after a relatively muted race for the Kiwi driver.

Mark Winterbottom also experienced a fairly lonely afternoon to finish fourth while Fabian Coulthard put in a determined drive to gain five places from 10th on the grid.

Most of the action was found in the battle for sixth. It was eventually won by the Nissan of Rick Kelly, who was forced to fend off Scott McLaughlin during the closing stages of the race.

The young Kiwi relentlessly hounded Kelly in his Volvo S60, which was also involved in a pushing-and-shoving contest with eighth and ninth place finishers Jason Bright and James Courtney.

Scott Pye rounded off the top 10 on his debut for the Dick Johnson Ford outfit after losing two places during the opening lap.

Results - 39 laps:                                     
Pos Driver               Team                      Time/Gap    
 1. Jamie Whincup        Triple Eight Holden    53m57.5158s        
 2. Craig Lowndes        Triple Eight Holden       +2.7772s        
 3. Shane van Gisbergen  Tekno Holden              +7.8426s        
 4. Mark Winterbottom    FPR Ford                 +13.9061s        
 5. Fabian Coulthard     Brad Jones Holden        +19.2367s        
 6. Rick Kelly           Nissan                   +24.0208s        
 7. Scott McLaughlin     GRM Volvo                +24.4619s        
 8. Jason Bright         Brad Jones Holden        +24.7487s        
 9. James Courtney       HRT Holden               +31.1724s        
10. Scott Pye            Dick Johnson Ford        +32.8042s        
11. Garth Tander         HRT Holden               +33.4300s        
12. Russell Ingall       Dumbrell Holden          +35.9946s        
13. Will Davison         Erebus Mercedes          +36.4485s        
14. David Wall           Dick Johnson Ford        +39.7287s        
15. Tim Slade            Walkinshaw/HRT Holden    +40.4982s        
16. Todd Kelly           Nissan                   +43.7055s        
17. Lee Holdsworth       Erebus Mercedes          +44.6962s        
18. Michael Caruso       Nissan                   +59.0822s        
19. Jack Perkins         Schwerkolt/FPR Ford      +59.3871s        
20. James Moffat         Nissan                      +1 lap        
21. Robert Dahlgren      GRM Volvo                   +1 lap        
22. Nick Percat          Rosenberg/HRT Holden       +4 laps        
23. Dale Wood            Britek/BJR Holden          +7 laps        
    Driver              Team                           Laps 		
    Chaz Mostert        FPR Ford                         21        
    David Reynolds      Rod Nash/FPR Ford                12  
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Lowndes wins as Volvo takes podium
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