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Queensland V8 Supercars: James Courtney wins with wise strategy

James Courtney wins Queensland V8 Supercars 2014

James Courtney pulled off a strategically brilliant victory in the third V8 Supercars race at Ipswich's Queensland Raceway, while Jamie Whincup moved to the top of the championship standings.

Factory Holden driver Courtney held back a set of soft tyres in qualifying for Saturday's races and those, coupled with two perfectly timed pitstops, allowed him to secure his second win of the season.

The 2010 V8 Supercars champion slipped behind poleman James Moffat's Nissan at the start and then had to sit behind an out-of-sequence Craig Lowndes during the second stint of the race, but when the stops played out, it was Courtney who came out on top.

He took the lead of lap 34 of 65 as his Triple Eight rival had to make a long final stop for tyres and fuel, and it was a position he held with ease until the chequered flag, taking victory by a 5.5 second margin.

Lowndes gained seven positions overall to finish second, ahead of Chaz Mostert, who was in the mix all race long and held off a determined Moffat towards the finish.

Ford Performance Racing's rising star was struggling with tyre wear and Moffat tried a last-lap lunge at Turn 3, which went awry and he ran wide, relinquishing his position to Scott Pye.

Whincup was not far away from the scene of the incident and greeted the flag in sixth. In doing so, moved to the top of the drivers' standings after title rival Mark Winterbottom had a nightmare race.

The erstwhile championship leader was forced to pit on lap 12 with a tyre issue and was hit with another tyre delamination on lap 43.

He rejoined the action and fell down the order of not only the race, to 22nd position, but also the championship, as he now trails Whincup by 15 points.

Results - 65 laps:
1James CourtneyHolden Racing TeamHolden1h18m18.0553s
2Craig LowndesRed Bull Racing AustraliaHolden5.5847s
3Chaz MostertFord Pepsi Max CrewFord7.9592s
4Scott PyeWilson Security RacingFord11.9481s
5James MoffatNorton HornetsNissan14.3465s
6Jamie WhincupRed Bull Racing AustraliaHolden14.8925s
7Nick PercatWalkinshaw RacingHolden18.7261s
8Michael CarusoNorton HornetsNissan18.8903s
9Garth TanderHolden Racing TeamHolden20.1539s
10Shane van GisbergenTeam TEKNO V.I.P. PetfoodsHolden27.7754s
11Fabian CoulthardLockwood RacingHolden29.9486s
12David WallWilson Security RacingFord36.3256s
13Russell IngallRepair Management Australia RacingHolden37.7840s
14Tim SladeSupercheap Auto RacingHolden40.4111s
15Rick KellyJack Daniel's RacingNissan40.7326s
16Robert DahlgrenValvoline Racing GRMVolvo43.0796s
17Jason BrightTeam BOCHolden45.2293s
18Will DavisonErebus MotorsportMercedes45.6099s
19Scott McLaughlinValvoline Racing GRMVolvo46.5478s
20Dale WoodTeam ADVAM/GBHolden49.1147s
21Todd KellyJack Daniel's RacingNissan50.9901s
22Mark WinterbottomFord Pepsi Max CrewFord1m03.3805s
23Lee HoldsworthErebus MotorsportMercedes1m03.8131s
24Jack PerkinsTeam JELD-WENFord1m05.6551s
25David ReynoldsThe Bottle-O Racing TeamFord1 Lap
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