Hidden Valley V8 Supercars: Mark Winterbottom wins race three
|Sunday, June 22nd 2014, 07:35 GMT|
Mark Winterbottom held off a last lap charge from Shane van Gisbergen to win the third Hidden Valley V8 Supercars race of the weekend, an event dominated by myriad strategy variations.
Winterbottom came from 10th on the grid to lead the race in the first stint, as he started on the favourable soft tyres. It looked at first that the Triple Eight Holden of Jamie Whincup would be Winterbottom's closest competitor at the end, but it was van Gisbergen.
The Kiwi spent most of the race in relative obscurity, but he made the most of his strategy and passed second-placed Whincup with less than five laps to go. He erased Winterbottom's two-second lead, but even a last corner lunge could not give him a victory.
Whincup finished on the podium, after appearing to let van Gisbergen past towards the end of the race in hope that he would steal some points from Winterbottom, the championship leader.
A perfectly timed safety car for the stricken Volvo of Robert Dahlgren just after the halfway point of the race should have played into the hands of Whincup, as it erased the gap to the leaders he had incurred for running on the slower hard tyre at the start of the race.
However, despite winning the first two races of the weekend, he lacked the pace to launch an attack on the lead and had to settle for a podium spot.
David Reynolds took an impressive fourth, as he led the majority of the first half of the race, but did not look after his tyres as well as Ford Performance Racing stable-mate Winterbottom, and fell out of contention after the final round of pitstops.
Following Reynolds were James Courtney, Garth Tander, James Moffat and a fighting Scott McLaughlin, who like van Gisbergen spent a lot of the race lost in strategy, but drove a hard final stint to earn eighth.
Whincup's team-mate and polesitter Craig Lowndes had been on the same strategy and was ahead of Whincup after the safety car, but contact with Ford's Chaz Mostert gave him a flat left front tyre, and forced him to make an unscheduled pitstop. He could only manage 17th.
Results - 69 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 1h27m20.3007s 2. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +0.5346 3. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +5.4899 4. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +10.8704 5. James Courtney HRT Holden +14.8247 6. Garth Tander HRT Holden +17.3536 7. James Moffat Nissan +18.0312 8. Scott McLaughlin GRM Volvo +27.1742 9. Rick Kelly Nissan +30.3585 10. Russell Ingall Dumbrell Holden +34.4546 11. Dale Wood Britek/BJR Holden +35.3378 12. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +38.9707 13. Michael Caruso Nissan +39.6810 14. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Ford +40.8246 15. Chaz Mostert FPR Ford +48.2264 16. Will Davison Erebus Mercedes +50.1643 17. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +50.6726 18. David Wall Dick Johnson Ford +58.7642 19. Tim Slade Rosenberg/HRT Holden +1m06.5035s 20. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden -1 lap 21. Jack Perkins Schwerkolt/FPR Ford -2 laps 22. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden -2 laps 23. Nick Percat Walkinshaw/HRT Holden -4 laps Retirements Todd Kelly Nissan 35 laps Robert Dahlgren GRM Volvo 22 laps