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V8 SUPERCAR NEWS 

Townsville V8 Supercars: Jamie Whincup wins chaotic opening race

Jamie Whincup Townsville V8SC

Jamie Whincup survived a crazy race to take his sixth V8 Supercars win of the season at Townsville, despite starting back in 10th.

It was an important win for the Triple Eight driver as his championship rivals struggled, with points leader Mark Winterbottom only managing 11th.

The race got off to a chaotic start as the front-row starting Holden Racing Team cars went side-by-side into the first corner, with poleman James Courtney holding the advantage after the fast-starting Craig Lowndes nudged Courtney's team-mate Garth Tander.

But at the next corner Courtney was shoved wide himself and glanced the wall, allowing Scott McLaughlin's Volvo to take the lead. Lowndes was then involved in more contact as he spun Courtney and he himself was then pitched into the wall by Will Davison.

McLaughlin then built up a significant lead as Jason Bright, Tander and Shane van Gisbergen battled for second behind. Tander did briefly take the place but was almost instantly punted back out of the way by Bright and dropped down the order.

Lowndes' Triple Eight team worked hard to get him back out but shortly after he was in the barriers again and this time he brought out the safety car, ending his remarkable 81-race finishing streak.

Ahead, a slow stop for McLaughlin dropped him to second as Whincup claimed the lead. Another caution period, triggered when Jack Perkins was tagged into the wall by Todd Kelly, gave the Volvo driver a chance to attack again on the restart but instead he lost second to a recovering Tander.

McLaughlin was then shuffled even further when pushed wide by Davison - who took his first podium of the year - with Nick Percat fourth and van Gisbergen fifth as McLaughlin eventually wound up sixth.

Results - 43 laps:

Pos Driver               Team/Car                  Time/Gap
 1. Jamie Whincup        Triple Eight Holden    59m48.1701s
 2. Garth Tander         HRT Holden                 +2.039s
 3. Will Davison         Erebus Mercedes            +5.600s
 4. Nick Percat          Walkinshaw/HRT Holden      +6.569s
 5. Shane van Gisbergen  Tekno Holden               +8.140s
 6. Scott McLaughlin     GRM Volvo                  +9.298s
 7. Jason Bright         Brad Jones Holden          +9.807s
 8. James Courtney       HRT Holden                +10.321s
 9. David Reynolds       Rod Nash/FPR Ford         +10.706s
10. Michael Caruso       Nissan                    +11.773s
11. Mark Winterbottom    FPR Ford                  +13.981s
12. Scott Pye            Dick Johnson Ford         +16.273s
13. Chaz Mostert         FPR Ford                  +17.241s
14. Rick Kelly           Nissan                    +18.599s
15. Fabian Coulthard     Brad Jones Holden         +20.234s
16. David Wall           Dick Johnson Ford         +21.164s
17. Russell Ingall       Dumbrell Holden           +22.263s
18. Todd Kelly           Nissan                    +22.824s
19. Robert Dahlgren      GRM Volvo                 +24.099s
20. Dale Wood            Britek/BJR Holden         +25.589s
21. James Moffat         Nissan                    +38.212s
22. Lee Holdsworth       Erebus Mercedes           +41.044s

Retirements

    Jack Perkins         Schwerkolt/FPR Ford        30 laps
    Tim Slade            Rosenberg/HRT Holden        28 lap
    Craig Lowndes        Triple Eight Holden          1 lap
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