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Jamie Whincup takes Supercar points lead after van Gisbergen woe

Jamie Whincup leads the Supercar points after victory at Symmons Plains while his team-mate and three-time champion Craig Lowndes ended a two-year victory drought

The third Triple Eight Holden of Shane Van Gisbergen had a disastrous weekend, which helped team-mate Whincup begin his move to the top of the points.

Saturday's single-stop race was all about tyre degradation and Triple Eight got it all wrong with polesitter and early leader van Gisbergen.

The team opted to pit the Kiwi just five laps into the race, and it ultimately proved too early when he lost the lead to team-mate and fellow front row starter Whincup, who pitted six laps later than van Gisbergen.

Van Gisbergen then sunk like a stone through the field over the second half of the race as his Dunlops struggled to hold on.

Whincup was then able to cruise to a 2.3s win over Lowndes, while van Gisbergen slipped all the way back to sixth.

James Courtney kept his strong start to the season going by finishing third, right on Lowndes's rear wing, with David Reynolds not far back in fourth.

But van Gisbergen's weekend only worsened on Sunday, as popular veteran Lowndes ended a 623-day win drought that stretched all the way back to Queensland Raceway in 2016.

After competing for the lead early in the second race, van Gisbergen fell away with a pedal box problem - meaning he was catching the throttle with the brake - that relegated him to 25th, and fifth in the points.

With one less challenge, and having already ended a pole position drought that stretched back to 2015, Lowndes instead contended with Whincup and McLaughlin in the first stint.

Lowndes waited until lap 22 of 84 before surrendering the lead for his first stop having run longer than his rivals. He emerged from his first stop well clear of struggling van Gisbergen, but marginally behind the short-filled Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford.

Seven laps after his stop Lowndes re-took the lead, expertly charging down the inside of McLaughlin at the hairpin.

Whincup then went the complete other way in terms of strategy, pitting on lap 26 to take on a big gulp of fuel, which dropped him back behind James Courtney in fourth.

When the second pitwindow opened, it was McLaughlin who dived in first as he took a longer stop which prevented him getting back ahead of Lowndes.

McLaughlin very nearly lost second place to Whincup as well, the pair staging a drag race to the hairpin as Whincup appeared from his second stop on the same lap as Lowndes.

In the end, McLaughlin held on to second but was powerless to stop Lowndes taking his first win of the season.

Whincup came home third, which, along with his Saturday win, means he now leads the points by 11 over McLaughlin and David Reynolds. Courtney took fourth to add to his podium in the first race.

Further down the points table, it was Tekno Autosports's Jack Le Brocq who starred. The rookie made Q3 on both Saturday and Sunday and finished up with a 10th from the opener and fifth in the second race.

There was less success for Tickford Racing as the team failed to get a single car into a Q3 session all weekend, Chaz Mostert's 10th on Sunday a small highlight from a tough pair of races.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 50 44m04.7354s
2 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 50 2.3457s
3 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 50 3.5874s
4 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 50 4.7927s
5 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 50 8.7263s
6 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 50 14.3481s
7 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 50 14.6397s
8 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 50 15.0225s
9 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 50 15.8197s
10 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 50 16.3784s
11 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 50 16.5533s
12 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 50 19.6312s
13 Garth Tander GRM Holden 50 23.8659s
14 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 50 24.0998s
15 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 50 25.7530s
16 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 50 26.0549s
17 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 50 33.4381s
18 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 50 34.4240s
19 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 50 34.9266s
20 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 50 40.2498s
21 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Ford 50 42.7756s
22 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 50 47.0689s
23 James Golding GRM Holden 50 48.6915s
24 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 50 54.7353s
25 Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 43 7 Laps
- Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 22 Retirement

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 84 1h14m41.1457s
2 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 84 2.3571s
3 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 84 3.6001s
4 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 84 5.5989s
5 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 84 15.7860s
6 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 84 16.5097s
7 Garth Tander GRM Holden 84 23.4884s
8 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 84 24.2924s
9 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 84 24.7777s
10 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 84 39.3819s
11 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 84 39.4913s
12 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 84 39.9954s
13 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 84 40.2848s
14 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 83 1 Lap
15 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 83 1 Lap
16 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 83 1 Lap
17 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 83 1 Lap
18 James Golding GRM Holden 83 1 Lap
19 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 83 1 Lap
20 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Ford 83 1 Lap
21 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 83 1 Lap
22 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 83 1 Lap
23 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 83 1 Lap
24 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 83 1 Lap
25 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 83 1 Lap
- Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 0 Retirement


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