Jamie Whincup and co-driver Sebastien Bourdais have claimed victory in the opening race of the ArmorAll 600 round on the Gold Coast.
After securing pole position in this morning’s qualifying session, the pair claimed a comfortable victory – on the back of an excellent opening stint by Bourdais – to ensure Whincup reclaimed the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
With the rules dictating that teams had to run one member of their driver pairings for a minimum of 34 laps of the race, all of the teams elected to start with the guest drivers behind the wheel.
And when the racing got underway, Bourdais quickly disappeared into an early lead, which he built to over 10 seconds by the time he peeled into the pits on the 35th lap. Whincup emerged from his pit stop still effectively in the lead, but his advantage was twice whittled down courtesy of two Safety Car appearances. Nonetheless, Whincup kept his cool, and took his fifth Surfers Paradise win by just over two seconds.
The Team Vodafone pair’s main challenge came from the Ford Performance Racing duo of Will Davison and Mika Salo, while the sister FPR of Mark Winterbottom and Richard Lyons finished third, after the pair staged a hard-charging drive from 17th on the grid.
Greg Murphy and co-driver Oliver Gavin were headed for fourth place in their Kelly Racing Holden, but Kelly lost two places on the final lap, with the Dick Johnson Ford of Alan Moffat / Joey Hand claiming fourth, followed by the Walkinshaw Racing Holden of Fabian Coulthard and Patrick Long, who drove an impressive opening stint.
But it was a disastrous race for the #888 Triple 8 Holden of Craig Lowndes and co-driver Andy Priaulx, with the pair having lost out on the opportunity to post a better qualifying time when their car was grounded with an electrical problem.
Despite attention from the team’s mechanics after qualifying, the problem still hadn’t solved itself, as Priaulx stopped twice on his installation lap before they elected to start from the pit lane. The pair eventually got their race going some 20 laps into the race itself – Priaulx posting several fastest laps before Lowndes took over – but their run was ended with a punctured radiator.
Tomorrow’s second race will be preceded by another 30-minute qualifying session.
V8 Supercars 2011 ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 Race 1 Final Standings (100 laps):
|1.||J. Whincup / S. Bourdais||Triple 8 Race Engineering||100||2:13:21.5515|
|2.||W. Davison / M. Salo||Ford Performance Racing||100||+ 2.1902|
|3.||M. Winterbottom / R. Lyons||Ford Performance Racing||100||+ 2.4683|
|4.||J. Moffat / J. Hand||Dick Johnson Racing||100||+ 2.7719|
|5.||F. Coulthard / P. Long||Walkinshaw Racing||100||+ 5.8433|
|6.||G. Murphy / O. Gavin||Kelly Racing||100||+ 7.1366|
|7.||R. Kelly / J. Bergmeister||Kelly Racing||100||+ 12.4330|
|8.||M. Caruso / A. Farfus||Garry Rogers Motorsport||100||+ 13.6039|
|9.||J. Webb / G. De Ferran||Tekno Autosports||100||+ 15.0193|
|10.||L. Holdsworth / S. Pagenaud||Garry Rogers Motorsport||100||+ 16.8085|
|11.||G. Tander / R. Briscoe||Holden Racing Team||100||+ 16.8226|
|12.||T. Slade / H. Castroneves||Stone Brothers Racing||100||+ 17.0690|
|13.||T. Kelly / R. Westbrook||Kelly Racing||100||+ 17.4326|
|14.||J. Courtney / D. Turner||Holden Racing Team||100||+ 20.6768|
|15.||P. Dumbrell / C. Klien||Rod Nash / FPR||100||+ 22.0608|
|16.||S. van Gisbergen / E. Pirro||Stone Brothers Racing||100||+ 23.8801|
|17.||J. Bargwanna / A. Simonsen||Brad Jones Racing||100||+ 25.8878|
|18.||S. Owen / B. Said||Paul Morris Motorsport||100||+ 28.9258|
|19.||D. Reynolds / A. Tagliani||Kelly Racing||98||2 laps behind|
|20.||D. Fiore / G. Morbidelli||Triple F Racing||98||2 laps behind|
|21.||J. Bright / S. Sarrazin||Brad Jones Racing||97||3 laps behind|
|22.||R. Ingall / J. Magnussen||Paul Morris Motorsport||95||5 laps behind|
|23.||A. Davison / M. Lieb||Stone Brothers Racing||76||24 laps behind|
|DNF.||T/ D’Alberto / V. Liuzzi||Tony D’Alberto Racing||75||Steering|
|DNF.||C. Lowndes / A. Priaulx||Triple 8 Race Engineering||52||Radiator|
|DNF.||S. Johnson / D. Müller||Dick Johnson Racing||24||Accident|
|DNF.||W. Luff / M. Franchitti||Lucas Dumbrell||14||Collision|
|DNS.||K. Reindler / F. Giovanardi||Britek / Brad Jones Racing||did not start|
[Image via V8 Supercars]