Jamie Whincup fought back to defeat Rick Kelly and Mark Winterbottom in race two at the Clipsal 500, the fourth race of the V8 Supercar Championship
Fourth place went to James Courtney with team mate Garth Tander in fifth. Paul Dumbrell finished in sixth ahead of Will Davison, Steven Johnson, Fabian Coulthard and Alex Davison rounding out the top ten.
“It was the toughest Clipsal race I have ever raced. I couldn’t be happier and I feel like I really deserved this one,” said Whincup.
Fabian Coulthard was again the first Kiwi home in ninth. Shane Van Gisbergen took 18th just head of Greg Murphy who finished 19th.
“Any time you’re in the top ten is a pretty good weekend,” Coulthard told NZR. “We’ve had two good rounds now and to be the top Kiwi is just the icing on the cake.”
Will Davison took the early lead as Jamie Whincup lost position on the start for the second race in a row. Lee Holdsworth had a fantastic start from fourth and went around Whincup to second place heading into the first corner.
The first incident occurred on lap four when Jason Bargwanna heavily damaged his rear. Todd Kelly and Steven Johnson also spun at turn four with Bargwanna, but all cars were able to get back to the pits. Bargwanna’s day was over but Kelly was able press on until lap 33.
The fight for the lead was heating up between Will Davison and Jamie Whincup. For laps the two battled it out. Each time Whincup got passed the FPR recruit he would respond with an equally impressive move to take the lead back. It continued until lap seven when Jamie Whincup slipped up the inside of Davison coming on to the straight and made the move stick.
Seven laps later Davison fought back and the battle continued with Whincup and Davison chopping and changing positions.
Shane Van Gisbergen capitalised on the wet conditions for the opening stint of the race. The young Kiwi started in 23rd position and made his way up to seventh by lap 11. His progress halted when he spun on lap 26 at turn six.
He said, “Every just seemed to be going slow and taking it easy. The car seemed to be working good and I just pushed on.”
Lee Holdsworth brought out the safety car on lap 28 after colliding with the outside wall of turn eight. Holdsworth elected to go on to slick tyres, seeing him lose grip off the racing line and hitting the wall. At the same time Greg Murphy went around at turn 11 on wet tyres.
Team BOC’s Jason Bright found the wall exiting turn three on lap 35. Bright lost grip and corrected the car before it snapped right and hit the wall. Bright was able to keep going and the safety car was brought out the next lap for debris.
The next retirement came from Warren Luff on lap 48 after hitting the wall as he exited turn eight. Luff was slightly off line which caused him the scrape the barrier bringing out the safety car for the third time.
Craig Lowndes spun exiting pit lane during the safety car in the mass pit stop. He was given a pit lane drive through for an incorrect exit.
On lap 53 Greg Murphy spun at turn nine. Alex Davison also found himself in trouble, finding the wall at turn eight.
Kiwi flyer Van Gisbergen on lap 64 kissed the wall at turn 11 and went from 12th spot to 16th.
Greg Murphy was penalised for kerb hopping and served a drive through in the closing stages of the race.
The next round of the Championship is in Hamilton, after next weekend’s non-championship round.
1 Jamie Whincup 567
2 Mark Winterbottom 423
3 Garth Tander 363
4 Alex Davison 348
5 Fabian Coulthard 345
6 Craig Lowndes 336
7 Shane Van Gisbergen 327
8 Rick Kelly 321
9 Will Davison 306
10 Jason Bright 294
11 James Courtney 280
12 David Reynolds 276
13 Michael Caruso 270
14 Tim Slade 267
15 Steven Johnson 260
16 Jonathan Webb 257
17 Paul Dumbrell 240
18 Greg Murphy 225
19 Dean Fiore 204
20 Jason Bargwanna 195
21 Todd Kelly 174
22 Karl Reindler 174
23 Lee Holdsworth 168
24 Warren Luff 132
25 Steve Owen 129
26 Tony D’Alberto 125
27 Russell Ingall 90
28 James Moffat 71