Whincup wins V8 opener
|By Andrew van de Burgt||Friday, February 11th 2011, 16:19 GMT|
Former V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup kicked his season off in style with a comfortable win in Abu Dhabi.
The Triple Eight Holden driver is unbeaten in three V8 races under the lights at Yas Marina, and he was never really challenged this time. The poleman, Whincup's team-mate Craig Lowndes, was caught napping at the start, and from third on the grid Alex Davison shot his Ford into the lead.
But under braking at the end of the long back straight, Whincup made his move and was untouchable at the front thereafter. Davison held on for second, ahead of FPR team-mate Mark Winterbottom.
In a race of tension rather than excitement, it was Shane van Gisbergen who made the most moves, dragging his Falcon up from 15th on the grid to an excellent fourth. Tim Slade had to fend off Garth Tander for almost the whole race, but held his nerve to secure fifth.
It was a woeful debut for Tander's HRT team-mate James Courtney. The reigning champion tangled with Jason Bargwanna early in the race, and spent an age in the pits as his Holden was repaired. He set a series of stunning fast laps as he fought a lost cause way back in 27th.
Lowndes also faced a tough day after his poor start, and he took seventh after ruining his tyres during his fightback.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Jamie Whincup Holden 1h27m01.6780s 2. Alex Davison Ford + 13.202s 3. Mark Winterbottom Ford + 15.282s 4. Shane van Gisbergen Ford + 19.901s 5. Tim Slade Ford + 20.984s 6. Garth Tander Holden + 30.989s 7. Craig Lowndes Holden + 37.346s 8. Fabian Coulthard Holden + 38.428s 9. Lee Holdsworth Holden + 57.995s 10. Todd Kelly Holden + 1m01.3760s 11. Steven Johnson Ford + 1m03.3490s 12. Will Davison Ford + 1m10.5760s 13. Rick Kelly Holden + 1m16.4220s 14. Steve Owen Holden + 1m17.2540s 15. Michael Caruso Holden + 1m19.8020s 16. James Moffat Ford + 1m22.0620s 17. David Reynolds Holden + 1m27.4590s 18. Tony D'Alberto Holden + 1m29.4390s 19. Jason Bargwanna Holden + 1m32.8470s 20. Jonathon Webb Ford + 1m35.2330s 21. Greg Murphy Holden + 1m40.0830s 22. Dean Fiore Ford + 1m57.9790s 23. Warren Luff Holden + 1 lap 24. Russell Ingall Holden + 1 lap 25. Paul Dumbrell Ford + 4 laps 26. James Courtney Holden + 4 laps Retirements: Karl Reindler Holden 41 laps Jason Bright Holden 20 laps