Whincup and Bourdais claim victory in opening race at Surfers Paradise

Jamie Whincup claimed his fifth Surfers Paradise win and with it the championship lead as he and Sebastien Bourdais took victory in the opening race of V8 Supercars' Gold Coast 600

Whincup and Bourdais claim victory in opening race at Surfers Paradise

Having secured pole, a dominant opening stint by Bourdais - against the other international drivers - put the #88 Triple Eight Holden more than 10 seconds clear of the field by the time they handed over to the series regulars on lap 34.

As if to underline that point Bourdais stayed out one lap longer than the rest of the leaders before handing over to Whincup, who had a massive 13s margin when he rejoined.

That was almost completely wiped out by a safety car period on lap 49 and again on lap 90, but on both occasions Whincup was able to maintain his advantage. In claiming victory he moved back into the lead of the championship, while Bourdais becomes the first man to win in IndyCars and in V8 Supercars on the Gold Coast.

"I love the streets of the Gold Coast," Whincup said. "Sebastien did an awesome job, he handed it over to me in the perfect position and it was just up to me to bring it home."

The #88 Holden's task was made easier as problems dogged the sister #888 Triple Eight of Andy Priaulx and erstwhile points leader Craig Lowndes, its main rival during practice.

Priaulx stopped twice on his way to the grid, and it was not until lap 20 that he was able to get actually start the race. He set several fastest laps before handing over to Lowndes, only for a punctured radiator to end their challenge at around half distance.

Instead, Whincup and Bourdais' main challenge came from the FPR Ford of Will Davison and Mika Salo, which finished second.

The HRT Holden of Garth Tander and Ryan Briscoe was also in the mix until Briscoe pitted on lap 33, one lap shy of the minimum tally each driver had to complete. The duo therefore had to pit again, and dropped down the order as a result.

Third was claimed by the FPR Ford of Mark Winterbottom and Richard Lyons, which came through from 17th on the grid.

Ford's James Moffat and Joey Hand claimed fourth on the penultimate lap of the race, while the Walkinshaw Holden of Fabian Coulthard and Pat Long snatched fifth on the final tour - Greg Murphy/Oliver Gavin in the #11 Kelly Holden therefore dropping two places on the last two laps to end sixth.

Race 1 Results - 102 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Whincup/Bourdais Triple 8 Holden 2h13m21.5515s 2. Davison/Salo FPR Ford + 2.1902s 3. Winterbottom/Lyons FPR Ford + 2.4683s 4. Moffat/Hand Dick Johnson Ford + 2.7719s 5. Coulthard/Long Walkinshaw Holden + 5.8433s 6. Murphy/Gavin Kelly Holden + 7.1366s 7. Kelly/Bergmeister Kelly Holden + 12.4330s 8. Caruso/Farfus Jr Garry Rogers Holden + 13.6039s 9. Webb/de Ferran Tekno Ford + 15.0193s 10. Holdsworth/Pagenaud Garry Rogers Holden + 16.8085s 11. Tander/Briscoe HRT Holden + 16.8226s 12. Slade/Castroneves Rosenberg/SBR Ford + 17.0690s 13. Kelly/Westbrook Kelly Holden + 17.4326s 14. Courtney/Turner HRT Holden + 20.6768s 15. Dumbrell/Klein Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 22.0608s 16. Van Gisbergen/Pirro Stone Brothers Ford + 23.8801s 17. Bargwanna/Simonsen Brad Jones Holden + 25.8878s 18. Owen/Said Paul Morris Holden + 28.9258s 19. Reynolds/Tagliani Kelly Holden + 2 laps 20. Fiore/Morbidelli Triple F Ford + 2 laps 21. Bright/Sarrazin Brad Jones Holden + 3 laps 22. Ingall/Magnussen Paul Morris Holden + 5 laps 23. Davison/Lieb Stone Brothers Ford + 24 laps Retirements: D'Alberto/Liuzzi D'Alberto Ford 75 laps Lowndes/Priaulx Triple 8 Holden 52 laps Johnson/Muller Dick Johnson Ford 24 laps Luff/Franchitti Dumbrell Holden 14 laps 
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Jamie Whincup puts himself and Sebastien Bourdais on Surfers Paradise pole
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