Whincup wins opener in Abu Dhabi

Reigning V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup got his switch to Holden off to a perfect start, leading home a Team Vodafone 1-2 in race one of the Yas V8 400 under lights at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi

Whincup wins opener in Abu Dhabi

Whincup dropped to second at the start but took the lead back from Mark Winterbottom on lap seven. Taking on more fuel at the first round of stops, he dropped to third before closing in on Will Davison for second, the two having a vigorous battle that was resolved in Whincup's favour when Davison outbraked himself on lap 21.

From there, a shorter fill than his rivals at his second stop popped him back into a comfortable lead, the only issue scare coming on the final lap with the two Team Vodafone cars running low on fuel, Whincup, second-placed Lowndes and Winterbottom covered by less than two seconds at the chequered flag.

Winterbottom had recovered well after having to wait ten seconds after his first stop after he was penalised for not lining up correctly on the starting grid, starting to the left of his grid position, dropping down to seventh before making his way back up the order.

James Courtney and Lee Holdsworth completed the top five, having spent most of the race dicing with each other, Shane van Gisbergen taking sixth despite contact on the opening lap dropping him down to 19th place.

After swapping marques during the off-season, seventh was a great result for Paul Dumbrell, despite losing a position to van Gisbergen in the closing laps. Even more impressive was Jonathon Webb in eighth in his first solo race in the main game. Alex Davison and Rick Kelly completed the top ten.

After qualifying at the front of the field, a slow getaway at the start cost Jason Bright dearly, completing lap one in 23rd place on the way to an eventual finish of 21st which saw Bright nearly stop in the wrong pit bay as well as make a stop with three laps remaining for a splash of fuel.

With Team Vodafone's switch from Ford to Holden being such a success, their fiercest rivals Holden Racing Team had a race they won't want to remember. Even before the race had started, Garth Tander was sent to the back of the grid thanks to a penalty for an issue relating to working under the car in an unsafe manner during the qualifying session.

Starting at the rear meant that Tander got caught up in an incident on lap two which caused damage to the front of the car, leading to repairs which cost him several laps, eventually finishing 26th.

His team-mate Will Davison looked good for a likely top-five finish, despite fading in the middle of the race, but at two-thirds distance his race literally went up in smoke with an engine failure.

Pos Driver Make Time 1. Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE 1h28m04.434s 2. Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE + 0.939s 3. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG + 1.952s 4. James Courtney Ford Falcon FG + 11.878s 5. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE + 13.021s 6. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG + 22.231s 7. Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG + 23.664s 8. Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG + 31.270s 9. Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG + 35.300s 10. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 37.590s 11. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 38.272s 12. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VE + 40.993s 13. Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE + 42.733s 14. Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG + 43.909s 15. Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE + 45.779s 16. Steven Richards Ford Falcon FG + 1m00.078s 17. Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE + 1m01.301s 18. Tony D'Alberto Holden Commodore VE + 1m18.450s 19. Andrew Thompson Holden Commodore VE + 1m22.548s 20. Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG + 1m36.729s 21. Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE + 1m50.239s 22. Daniel Gaunt Holden Commodore VE + 1m51.668s 23. Paul Morris Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 24. Tony Ricciardello Holden Commodore VE + 1 lap 25. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 3 laps 26. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE + 7 laps 27. Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE + 9 laps Not classified/retirements: Driver Make Laps Will Davison Holden Commodore VE 28 Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE 23 
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Whincup on Abu Dhabi race one pole
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