V8 Supercars: Red Bull's Lowndes and Richards win Bathurst 1000

Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards have triumphed after a typically dramatic V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000 in Australia

V8 Supercars: Red Bull's Lowndes and Richards win Bathurst 1000

The veteran pairing steered their Red Bull Racing Holden Commodore to victory ahead of the Ford duo of Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen and Garth Tander/Warren Luff (Holden Racing Team Commodore).

The win was the sixth for Lowndes and Richards's fourth, but it looked unlikely after they started 22nd on the grid, which was unsettled by a wet qualifying session.

Lowndes made ground early but when the rain hit mid-race, he lost many of the positions he had gained, in a clearly unsettled Commodore.

But on a dry track, he fought his way back to the front.

"It's a great honour to be here on the stop step again," said Lowndes.

"It didn't go to plan last year, I screwed up! What we executed was what we planned at the start of the day."

The winning margin was 1.36 seconds but Winterbottom, who started 14th, still holds a commanding championship lead.

Tander started one spot behind Winterbottom, but took advantage of a typically robust battle after a restart to take two spots in one corner to seize the final podium position.

The race was beset with some rough weather, which forced the entire field onto wets and threatened to upset the running order.

Some of the fancied runners struggled.

Jamie Whincup looked set to challenge team-mate Lowndes for the win until, with 20 laps to go, he was deemed to have overtaken a safety car without authorisation.

He protested his innocence, but a subsequent drive-through penalty dropped him down to the order.

Likewise, the DJR Team Penske Ford of Scott Pye/Marcos Ambrose was looking for a good result, until the former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver went a bit too far on his wets, losing track position.

Pye crashed the car late in the race when a steering arm broke.

TOUGH DAY FOR INTERNATIONALS

It was a difficult day to be a visitor to Mountain Panorama, with a number of overseas drivers having problems.

Alex Premat was the best placed, sharing a Volvo S60 driven by Scott McLaughlin in fifth place.

Sebastien Bourdais was ninth in a Walkinshaw Commodore, driving with Lee Holdsworth, while Oliver Gavin was well-placed in the Holden he shared with 2011 winner Nick Percat, until he was involved in a collision with Mercedes driver, Will Davison.

Nissan works GT3 driver Alex Buncombe was 20th, in Todd Kelly's Nissan Altima.

Simona de Silvestro was the last classified finisher, despite losing nearly 40 laps when her co-driver Renee Gracie crashed on oil on lap 15.

RESULTS - 161 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 C.Lowndes, S.Richards Triple Eight Holden 6h16m07.7064s
2 M.Winterbottom, S.Owen Prodrive Ford 1.3654s
3 G.Tander, W.Luff HRT Holden 3.9516s
4 F.Coulthard, L.Youlden Brad Jones Holden 4.4166s
5 S.McLaughlin, A.Premat GRM Volvo 9.7147s
6 D.Reynolds, D.Canto Rod Nash/PRA Ford 10.9831s
7 J.Bright, A.Jones Brad Jones Holden 12.0096s
8 S.Gisbergen, J.Webb Tekno Holden 14.3117s
9 L.Holdsworth, S.Bourdais Walkinshaw/HRT Holden 14.7198s
10 J.Moffat, T.Douglas Nissan Motorsport Nissan 20.1927s
11 J.Perkins, R.Ingall HRT Holden 21.1964s
12 W.Davison, A.Davison Erebus Mercedes 21.6238s
13 M.Caruso, D.Fiore Nissan Motorsport Nissan 29.5798s
14 T.Slade, T.D'Alberto Schwerkolt/HRT Holden 31.5931s
15 D.Wood, M.Jones Britek/BJR Holden 31.9784s
16 R.Kelly, D.Russell Nissan Motorsport Nissan 35.2023s
17 A.Russell, D.Russell Novocastrian Holden 43.5836s
18 J.Whincup, P.Dumbrell Triple Eight Holden 1m01.9616s
19 N.Percat, O.Gavin Dumbrell Holden 2 Laps
20 T.Kelly, A.Buncombe Nissan Motorsport Nissan 5 Laps
21 S.de Silvestro, R.Gracie Prodrive Ford 40 Laps
- S.Pye, M.Ambrose DJR Penske Ford Retirement
- A.Walsh, J.Le Brocq Erebus Mercedes Retirement
- T.Blanchard, K.Reindler Dumbrell Holden Retirement
- A.Heimgartner, A.Pedersen Super Black/PRA Ford Retirement
- D.Wall, C.Pither GRM Volvo Retirement
- C.Mostert, C.Waters Prodrive Ford Withdrawn

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Mark Winterbottom 2491
2 Craig Lowndes 2092
3 David Reynolds 2059
4 Chaz Mostert 2017
5 Fabian Coulthard 1934
6 Garth Tander 1892
7 Shane van Gisbergen 1800
8 Jamie Whincup 1688
9 Scott McLaughlin 1434
10 Rick Kelly 1415

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