HRT steals Phillip Island 500 win
|By David Wright||Sunday, September 13th 2009, 09:10 GMT|
Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander and Will Davison have stolen victory with a last-lap change of lead in the L&H 500 at Phillip Island, giving Holden Racing Team back-to-back victories in the event.
The HRT duo had spent most of the race in second place, just behind the Team Vodafone car of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup. It had been a fantastic duel between the two, the cars separated by no more than a couple of seconds throughout the race.
Tander had earlier taken the lead on lap 87 after a lapped car baulked Lowndes, before Lowndes retook the lead 11 laps later and looked set to take victory.
But a right front tyre started to deflate over the final three laps and meant that Lowndes was helpless when Tander caught him halfway through the lap, handing the HRT car victory.
Behind them, the Ford Performance Racing Falcon of Steven Richards and Mark Winterbottom took third, just a couple of seconds ahead of Jim Beam's James Courtney and Steven Johnson, both cars running in the top five throughout the race.
Problems for the Kelly brothers cost them a chance of beating both of them, as fixing a seat belt problem apparently cost Todd Kelly quite a few seconds during his stint in the middle of the race. Regardless, they were still quick enough to finish fifth ahead of the second Jim Beam car of Jonathon Webb and Warren Luff.
Completing the top ten were Supercheap's Russell Ingall and Tim Slade, Craig Baird and Paul Dumbrell in the second HRT car, Dean Canto and Luke Youlden in the second FPR car and Alex Davison and Shane van Gisbergen who recovered well after suffering a flat right front tyre earlier in the race.
The race was relatively incident-free apart, but the safety car made two appearances early in the race. The first came when Fabian Coulthard had a terminal engine failure in the opening laps of the race, dropping oil on the circuit.
The second came out when Cameron McConville and Steve Owen made contact heading into Doohan Corner, the Team BOC car of McConville suffering broken front left suspension and going through the gravel, tarmac runoff and grass, crossing the track after the exit of Southern Loop, luckily not hitting other cars as it did so.
Remarkably, the other car in the Brad Jones team was involved in an almost identical incident with Lee Holdsworth just over ten laps later, except with positions reversed, this time the loser being the car of Holdsworth, who managed to slow down enough to rejoin the track in a asfe manner, but again with broken front left suspension.
The last-lap change of lead means that the points positions have changed very little at the top, even less so than if the result had remained as it was. Whincup's lead reduces by 12 points to 171, while Tander and Lowndes are now separated by 13 points instead of 1 as it was before the weekend started, but both remain well off the leading duo's pace.
Pos Drivers Make Time 1. W Davison/G Tander Holden Commodore VE 3:09:47.8436 2. Lowndes/Whincup Ford Falcon FG + 2.6729 3. S Richards/Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG + 10.3395 4. Courtney/Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 13.3435 5. R Kelly/T Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 52.0102 6. Luff/Webb Ford Falcon FG + 59.8844 7. Ingall/Slade Holden Commodore VE + 1:08.5128 8. Baird/Dumbrell Holden Commodore VE + 1:11.3889 9. Canto/Youlden Ford Falcon FG + 1:14.9051 10. A Davison/van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG + 1:17.2577 11. Murphy/Skaife Holden Commodore VE + 1:17.9855 12. Owen/Price Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 13. Besnard/Ritter Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 14. Perkins/Wood Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 15. D'Alberto/Thompson Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 16. Priaulx/Reynolds Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 17. Gaunt/McIntyre Ford Falcon FG + 1 lap 18. Collins/Pretty Holden Commodore VE + 2 laps 19. L Tander/Wall Ford Falcon BF + 2 laps 20. Fisher/Sieders Ford Falcon BF + 2 laps 21. Simonsen/Thompson Ford Falcon FG + 2 laps 22. McNally/Ricciardello Holden Commodore VE + 12 laps 23. Assaillit/Lowe Ford Falcon BF + 20 laps 24. Douglas/Walter Holden Commodore VE + 21 laps Not classified/retirements: Drivers Make Laps Bright/Reindler Ford Falcon FG 92 A Jones/B Jones Holden Commodore VE 80 O Kelly/Morris Holden Commodore VE 62 Bargwanna/Noske Holden Commodore VE 46 Caruso/Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE 31 McConville/J Richards Holden Commodore VE 20 Coulthard/Patrizi Ford Falcon FG 4 Fiore/Bayliss Holden Commodore VE 0