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Holden weekend at Gold Coast Indy


Rick Kelly has created a V8 Supercar Championship Series dogfight on a weekend when leader Craig Lowndes twice fell foul of the judiciary and paid the price at the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast.

Toll HSV Racing’s Kelly came third to his brother Todd, who won the event for the Holden Racing Team. Rick Kelly in turn closed the overall gap on Lowndes from 101 points to just 31 points with three rounds to go. Lowndes finished 10th for the weekend.

Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom was second for the weekend, also closing his gap on Lowndes and Kelly to stay well in striking distance.

Lowndes was given two pit lane penalties over the weekend, the second when he clearly cut through a chicane to pass Russell Ingall in the final race yesterday.

Under the rules drivers are permitted to redress the situation by allowing those they passed through but must do so in a reasonable amount of time.

“The stewards allowed sufficient time for this correction before applying the penalty. In this time it was not corrected and the decision was made to impose the penalty,” Chief Steward Steve Chopping said.

“The responsibility is with the driver. If a driver offends he has the opportunity to correct it. In our view it was too late. This is viewed as a clear breach of the rules.”

The wash-up meant that Lowndes gave up significant ground to both Rick Kelly and Mark Winterbottom in the Championship race.

“It’s been good to close up that points gap,” said Rick Kelly.

“We managed to pull it back to 70-odd points after he (Lowndes) had some bad luck and made a few mistakes. That’s good for us and hopefully if the team gives me a good car we’ll be able to pull a few more points away.

“In saying that Craig is still going to be strong in all those rounds.”

Kelly said all drivers were warned prior to the meeting of the two areas that Lowndes breached.

“We’ve had two stop-go penalties this year that a lot of people questioned but we accepted them and got on with the job. I guess that’s what Craig has to do now,” he said.

“We were all told (before the weekend) about the areas where Craig has offended over the weekend and there’s not much we can do about it. We need to do all we can to focus on this Championship.”

The controversy took some gloss away from the win of Todd Kelly who was second at Bathurst to Lowndes with brother Rick.

“You put so much effort in every day of the week and you wake up every single morning of every day of the year to strive to win races,” he said.

“It’s pretty tough out there, the most competitive it has been for a long time. It has been a rough year with our luck and a few mechanical issues so it means quite a bit.

“We’ve got to work a lot harder because they are a lot harder to get.”

And Winterbottom is quietly forging away in the background.

“Who knows?” Winterbottom said.

“Rick and Craig are going to fight their own battle but if I can keep getting podiums and a race win you never know. I’m confident that the car is quick enough in the last three rounds so we are going to be fighting pretty hard.”

Collated results and standings from the V8 Supercar championship after the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge, the 10th round of the series at Surfers Paradise:


Race One (22 laps - 100km)

1. Todd Kelly (Holden) 43min:18.0998secs

2. Garth Tander (Holden) 43:19.4477

3. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 43:21.7285

4. Jason Richards (Holden) 43:30.7986

5. Steven Richards (Holden) 43:38.8250

6. Rick Kelly (Holden) 43:39.4297

7. Jason Bright (Ford) 43:40.5582

8. Russell Ingall (Ford) 43:42.1742

9. Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 43:57.2771

10. Steven Johnson (Ford) 44:00.1655


Race Two (22 laps - 100km)

1. Garth Tander (Holden) 46:22.3973

2. Todd Kelly (Holden) 46:22.9077

3. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 46:27.9748

4. Rick Kelly (Holden) 46:29.1431

5. Jason Richards (Holden) 46:29.9339

6. Jason Bright (Ford) 46:30.3934

7. Craig Lowndes (Ford) 46:32.0218

8. Russell Ingall (Ford) 46:32.6141

9. Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 46:49.0976

10. Steven Johnson (Ford) 46:49.7313

Race Three (22 laps - 100km)

1. Rick Kelly (Holden) 43:30.3641

2. Todd Kelly (Holden) 43:30.8899

3. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 43:34.4258

4. Jason Bright (Ford) 43:42.0566

5. Russell Ingall (Ford) 43:42.6381

6. James Courtney (Ford) 43:44.0438

7. Cameron McConville (Holden) 43:46.2740

8. Jamie Whincup (Ford) 43:55.9684

9. Steven Johnson (Ford) 44:01.3627

10. Steven Richards (Holden) 44:05.9684

Round Points

1. Todd Kelly (Holden) 313 points

2. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 300

3. Rick Kelly (Holden) 294

4. Jason Bright (Ford) 274

5. Russell Ingall (Ford) 259

6. Garth Tander (Holden) 257

7. Steven Johnson (Ford) 234

8. Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 233

9. Cameron McConville (Holden) 227

10. Craig Lowndes (Ford) 223

Championship Points (after 10 of 13 rounds)

1. Craig Lowndes (Ford) 2601 points

2. Rick Kelly (Holden) 2571

3. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 2283

4. Russell Ingall (Ford) 2211

5. Garth Tander (Holden) 2105

6. Jamie Whincup (Ford) 2000

7. Jason Bright (Ford) 1988

8. Steven Richards (Holden) 1982

9. Todd Kelly (Holden) 1927

9. Steven Johnson (Ford) 1927

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