Winterbottom wins again in third V8s qualifying race at Melbourne
|Saturday, March 17th 2012, 05:43 GMT|
Mark Winterbottom continued his winning streak in the V8 Supercars' non-championship outing at Melbourne by sealing victory in a chaotic race three.
The race was marred by opening lap carnage which involved five cars and brought about a lengthy safety car, which also served to reduce the race to a seven-lap sprint.
Reigning champion, Triple 8's Jamie Whincup, was one of the casualties as he was tagged by James Courtney on the entrance to Turn 3.
With Whincup stranded, Karl Reindler, David Wall, Taz Douglas and Russell Ingall were all caught up in the resulting melee. Alexander Premat's Garry Rodgers Holden was also damaged.
When the race was eventually restarted Winterbottom - who had lost the lead on the original start - maintained his advantage, leading Shane van Gisbergen's Stone Brothers Ford.
Winterbottom and a gaggle of cars dived into the pits on the first lap, leaving Davison and Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jones Holden) fighting for the lead.
The pair eventually pitted at the end of lap six, with Davison emerging behind Winterbottom and just ahead of Garth Tander's HRT Holden. The latter attacked immediately and forced his way through on the final lap to earn second, with Davison taking third.
Van Gisbergen, Coulthard and Lee Holdsworth (Stone Brothers Ford) rounded out the top six.
The results from the three qualifying races will be used to determine the grid for Sunday's final, for which a prize fund of AUS$500,000 will be available.
Results - 7 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 42m52.4637s 2. Garth Tander HRT Holden + 3.3263s 3. Will Davison FPR Ford + 3.9944s 4. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford + 4.2781s 5. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden + 6.0485s 6. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford + 6.5757s 7. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden + 7.1249s 8. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden + 9.7695s 9. Greg Murphy Kelly Holden + 11.0348s 10. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 11.7263s 11. James Courtney HRT Holden + 11.7438s 12. Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden + 16.7504s 13. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 17.0374s 14. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford + 17.1287s 15. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford + 17.3295s 16. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden + 17.5272s 17. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 17.7626s 18. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford + 19.0139s 19. Steve Owen Dick Johnson Ford + 20.5330s 20. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 23.4998s 21. Dean Fiore Triple F Ford + 24.6085s 22. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden + 24.7408s 23. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden + 38.5354s Did not finish: Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden 0 laps Karl Reindler Kelly Holden 9 laps Russell Ingall Walkinshaw Holden 0 laps David Wall Britek/BJR Holden 0 laps Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden 0 laps