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V8 SUPERCAR NEWS 

Tander/McConville win fraught race

HRT drivers Garth Tander and Cameron McConville triumphed in a fractious opening V8 Supercar race at Surfers Paradise.

Tander brought the car home despite extensive damage to the left front of the Holden, which brought calls from rival teams for the car to be black flagged. They also had to overcome a 10-second penalty for McConville jumping the start, but when James Courtney was given a drive-through for dropping too far back under the safety car, victory was assured.

The race started with the majority of the international visitors behind the wheel. With little or no experience of starting the cars, or racing with full tanks, chaos was predicted and duly arrived.

Jacques Villeneuve made a good start from the second row, and was quickly by Courtney's co-driver Warren Luff. But on his outside Youlden was flying. He tried to squeeze into a closing gap between Villeneuve and the wall. Collision was inevitable and he bounced into the air and retirement.

At the next corner Villeneuve was tipped into a spin by Greg Ritter and all hell broke loose. Will Power hit the Canadian and was hit from behind, causing terminal damage. Gianni Morbidelli managed to limp back to the pits where he retired too.

With most of the cars carrying battle wounds, the race finally got going in anger four laps later. The drive of the early stages came from Michael Caruso who battled his way up to second, while Sebastien Bourdais was a revelation, often the quickest car on track as he enjoyed a brief stint in the lead as the pit stops played out.

With the main drivers back behind the wheel, Courtney and Craig Lowndes put on a charge, working their way through the field to close down on Tander, who had clipped the tyre barriers at the chicane and was shedding bits and pieces of Holden.

Courtney finally pulled a great move for the lead, but his effort was in vain, the safety car misdemeanour dropping him to 10th in the end.

Shane van Gisbergen pulled the move of the race as he battled his way by Jamie Whincup and the Kiwi and team-mate John McIntyre claimed third. Following a steady stint from GT2 ace Patrick Long, the Caruso car eventually came home fourth.


Pos  Driver                Car                                Result
 1.  Tander/McConville       Holden Commodore VE       2h20m00.6981s
 2.  Lowndes/Priaulx         Holden Commodore VE           + 1.8549s
 3.  Van Gisbergen/McIntyre  Ford Falcon FG                + 3.9301s
 4.  Caruso/Long             Holden Commodore VE           + 5.2317s
 5.  Davison/Brabham         Ford Falcon FG               + 25.0428s
 6.  Whincup/Owen            Holden Commodore VE          + 25.4409s
 7.  Bright/Menu             Holden Commodore VE          + 25.9224s
 8.  Webb/Bourdais           Ford Falcon FG               + 26.7318s
 9.  Reindler/Giovanardi     Holden Commodore VE          + 39.5624s
10.  Courtney/Luff           Ford Falcon FG               + 39.7500s
11.  Bargwanna/Tagliani      Holden Commodore VE          + 44.1464s
12.  Ingall/Perkins          Holden Commodore VE          + 45.9969s
13.  Murphy/Muller           Holden Commodore VE          + 48.2190s
14.  Kelly/Kelly             Holden Commodore VE        + 1'11.0571s
15.  Richards/Jones          Ford Falcon FG                  + 1 lap
16.  Johnson/Franchitti      Ford Falcon FG                  + 1 lap
17.  Coulthard/Reynolds      Holden Commodore VE             + 1 lap
18.  Slade/Castroneves       Ford Falcon FG                  + 1 lap
19.  Holdsworth/Ritter       Holden Commodore VE             + 1 lap
20.  Kelly/Dixon             Holden Commodore VE             + 1 lap
21.  Winterbottom/Youlden    Ford Falcon FG                 + 8 laps
22.  Dumbrell/Villeneuve     Ford Falcon FG                + 11 laps

Retirements

     Ricciardello/Wood       Holden Commodore VE             93 laps
     Thompson/Salo           Holden Commodore VE             78 laps
     D'Alberto/Monteiro      Holden Commodore VE             50 laps
     Pretty/Pruett           Holden Commodore VE             24 laps
     Fiore/Morbidelli        Ford Falcon FG                    1 lap
     Richards/Power          Holden Commodore VE              0 laps
     Davison/Briscoe         Holden Commodore VE              0 laps
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