Adelaide V8 Supercars: Whincup holds off Lowndes in race one
|Saturday, March 1st 2014, 07:04 GMT|
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 Retirements: Driver Team Laps Chaz Mostert FPR Ford 21 David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 12