Garth Tander and Nick Percat win ultra-close Bathurst 1000 for Holden Racing Team
|Sunday, October 9th 2011, 07:46 GMT|
Garth Tander and Nick Percat clinched victory for the Holden Racing Team by just 0.29 seconds over Triple Eight Holden's Craig Lowndes in an outstanding finish to the Bathurst 1000.
Lowndes, who shared his car with Mark Skaife, had gone into the closing stages only fourth, passing Brad Jones Racing's Jason Bright with 16 laps of the 161 to go, then overtaking pole-winner Greg Murphy (Kelly Racing Holden) three laps later.
He then charged onto Tander's tail, helped by the HRT man making a small late error, and getting the gap down to under a second with two laps to go. But despite everything Lowndes tried, Tander was able to hang on.
The win was HRT's 200th in the series, and Tander's 50th and his third at Bathurst, while it also made his co-driver Percat a Bathurst winner at the very first attempt.
Second place gave Lowndes a 100-point championship lead. His team-mate and title rival Jamie Whincup had alternator problems in the car he shared with Andrew Thompson, and having battled at the front for much of the way he could only finish 21st.
The Will Davison/Luke Youlden Ford Performance Racing car also had a spell in the lead, but lost a lap when Youlden went off, leaving them 18th.
Murphy held on to third for himself and Allan Simonsen, with FPR's Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom the top Ford pairing in fourth, just ahead of Bright, who shared with Andrew Jones.
The most spectacular incident of the race came when David Besnard crashed his Dick Johnson Racing Ford heavily on an out-lap. The car caught fire, but Besnard got out unscathed.
Results - 161 laps: Pos Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Tander/Percat Triple 8 Holden 6h26m52.2691s 2. Lowndes/Skaife Triple 8 Holden + 0.2917s 3. Murphy/Simonsen FPR Ford + 11.7950s 4. Winterbottom/Richards FPR Ford + 19.5186s 5. Bright/Jones Brad Jones Holden + 19.9227s 6. Van Gisbergen/McIntyre Stone Brothers Ford + 33.6113s 7. McConville/Courtney Triple 8 Holden + 36.2050s 8. Ingall/Perkins Paul Morris Holden + 37.1825s 9. D'Alberto/Wood D'Alberto Ford + 41.6750s 10. Caruso/Marshall Garry Rogers Holden + 47.8567s 11. Owen/Morris Paul Morris Holden + 49.7505s 12. Slade/Gaunt Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 50.1213s 13. Webb/Lyons Tekno Ford + 50.8840s 14. Reindler/Wall Britek Holden + 55.3518s 15. Luff/Pretty Dumbrell Holden + 1m04.8075s 16. Davison/Brabham Stone Brothers Ford + 1m11.8499s 17. Holdsworth/Ritter Garry Rogers Holden + 1m37.6188s 18. Davison/Youlden FPR Ford + 1m48.3127s 19. Reynolds/Blanchard Kelly Holden + 2m03.2874s 20. Fiore/Patrizi Kelly Holden + 1 lap 21. Whincup/Thompson Triple 8 Holden + 1 lap 22. Kelly/Kelly Kelly Holden + 2 laps 23. Bargwanna/Price Brad Jones Holden + 3 laps 24. Kelly/Russell Kelly Holden + 7 laps 25. Moffat/Halliday Dick Johnson Ford + 15 laps Retirements: Dumbrell/Canto Rod Nash/FPR Ford 144 laps Johnson/Besnard Dick Johnson Ford 112 laps Denyer/Waters Kelly Holden 95 laps Coulthard/Baird Walkinshaw Holden 13 laps