Townsville V8 Supercars: Jamie Whincup wins chaotic opening race
|Saturday, July 5th 2014, 05:40 GMT|
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