Winton V8 Supercars: Fabian Coulthard claims first win of 2014
|Saturday, April 5th 2014, 04:04 GMT|
Fabian Coulthard scored his first win of the 2014 V8 Supercars season after a dominant display in the first race of the Winton weekend.
The in-form Kiwi - who smashed the old qualifying lap record to claim pole position - made a great getaway off the line and held off fellow countryman Shane van Gisbergen and current championship leader Craig Lowndes.
Coulthard then began to pull away from the chasing pack and was the best part of three seconds ahead before the safety car was deployed on lap 16 of 34 because of Scott McLaughlin's stricken Volvo.
The race resumed three laps later before two incidents involving Chaz Mostert, Tim Slade and James Courtney, and then rookie Nick Percat and David Reynolds at Turns 2 and 7 respectively.
Those melees resulted in the second safety car period which lasted until lap 22, but it was not long until it was back out again when Todd Kelly came to a halt at Turn 3.
The final 10 laps were uninterrupted, however, and Coulthard managed to retain his lead until the finish to claim his first win of the season.
Van Gisbergen held off surprise qualifying star Dale Wood who put in an exceptional effort to start and finish third.
The 2013 Dunlop Series champion fended off Jason Bright and Lee Holdsworth in the dying moments of the race, while Will Davidson had Mark Winterbottom ever present in his mirrors.
Winterbottom had a disastrous qualifying session and started 24th, but he managed to pick his way through the field and also benefitted from the mid-race scuffles to take seventh.
Lowndes' charge fizzled out in the closing laps and he eventually finished eighth, ahead of Triple Eight team-mate Jamie Whincup who was rather anonymous throughout the race.
Results - 34 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden 53m03.9676s 2. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +5.0197s 3. Dale Wood Britek/BJR Holden +10.9246s 4. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +13.7479s 5. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +14.2459s 6. Will Davison Erebus Mercedes +17.0852s 7. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +19.5586s 8. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +23.7499s 9. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +25.7400s 10. Russell Ingall Dumbrell Holden +29.4675s 11. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +34.0476s 12. Chaz Mostert FPR Ford +35.5102s 13. David Wall Dick Johnson Ford +35.9935s 14. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Ford +38.6656s 15. Garth Tander HRT Holden +40.8135s 16. Jack Perkins Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +41.2883s 17. Todd Kelly Nissan +41.4788s 18. James Moffat Nissan +42.3641s 19. Michael Caruso Nissan +43.5667s 20. Rick Kelly Nissan +50.9604s 21. Nick Percat Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +53.1940s Retirements:
James Courtney HRT Holden 19 laps Tim Slade Rosenberg/HRT Holden 19 laps Scott McLaughlin GRM Volvo 6 laps Robert Dahlgren GRM Volvo 0 laps