Phillip Island V8s: Craig Lowndes battles back for race two win

Craig Lowndes struck back in the V8 Supercars title battle with a brilliant race two win at Phillip Island

Phillip Island V8s: Craig Lowndes battles back for race two win

Lowndes had lost the championship lead to Triple Eight team-mate Jamie Whincup on Saturday, then only qualified eighth on Sunday morning.

He burst through to second beind Whincup on a wild first lap as the front row qualifying Brad Jones Racing duo Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright got away badly.

But Lowndes had to battle back again when he ran wide and fell to fifth in a dice with Chaz Mostert.

Although Lowndes repassed Coulthard, Shane van Gisbergen and Mostert to reclaim second, Whincup appeared to be out of reach.

The champion had surged around the outside to go from fourth to first at the start, and then established a four-second lead.

Then a safety car period to retrieve Michael Caruso's stranded Nissan gave Lowndes another chance.

He was able to slip down Whincup's inside into the Turn 4 hairpin shortly after the restart and then inched away to win and reduce his team-mate's championship lead back to six points.

Van Gisbergen denied Mostert the final podium spot by just three tenths of a second, with Coulthard, Alex Davison, Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison right on their tail.

Winterbottom had challenged for the lead off the line before falling back amid contact in the crowded first turn.

Bright ran off-track after the restart and could only finish 23rd.

Race one winner Garth Tander had throttle problems in qualifying and was back in 10th.

His HRT Holden team-mate James Courtney was unable to start after Saturday's massive crash with Alexandre Premat.

Results - 23 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 38m02.5528s 2. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +1.0012s 3. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +5.6348s 4. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +5.9875s 5. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +6.5265s 6. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +6.7053s 7. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +7.2521s 8. Will Davison FPR Ford +7.4843s 9. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +9.5978s 10. Garth Tander HRT Holden +9.7863s 11. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +10.7859s 12. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford +11.0751s 13. Rick Kelly Nissan +11.5274s 14. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +11.9211s 15. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +13.8024s 16. Todd Kelly Nissan +14.2404s 17. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +14.6528s 18. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +14.9537s 19. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden +15.1978s 20. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +15.6483s 21. James Moffat Nissan +16.6689s 22. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +18.1546s 23. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +21.8385s 24. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +1m02.4566s Retirements: Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden 16 laps Michael Caruso Nissan 12 laps 
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