V8 supercars points leader Jamie Whincup has moved closer towards claiming this year’s championship at the season-ending Telstra 500 in Sydney after winning the second race of the Norton 360 Challenge at Sandown Raceway.
Starting from pole position for today’s 65-lap race, the Team Vodafone Holden driver was never seriously threatened en route to claiming his tenth win of the year. It was a resounding answer to anyone who’d dared to question his mettle after a disappointing run to 13th in the rain at yesterday’s race.
Whincup was initially put under some pressure from Mark Winterbottom (Ford Performance Racing), who kept in touch with the help of a couple of safety car interruptions and some fast work from his mechanics during his pit stops.
Third place went to Winterbottom’s team-mate Will Davison, who came under stern pressure from Whincup’s sole championship rival, Craig Lowndes.
The top-ten was completed by Garth Tander, Shane van Gisbergen, Tim Slade, Lee Holdsworth, Rick Kelly and Steve Owen, who started on the back row of the grid.
Whincup now heads to the season-ending race, the Telstra 500 at Sydney’s Olympic Park, with a 188-point lead over team-mate Lowndes, with a maximum of 300 points up for grabs.
V8 Supercars Norton 360 Sandown Challenge Final Classification (Race 2 – 65 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||1:22:18.5569|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 1.9766|
|3.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 2.8776|
|4.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||+ 3.4395|
|5.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 3.9046|
|6.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 12.6062|
|7.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 13.1982|
|8.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 14.0042|
|9.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 14.8800|
|10.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 17.4648|
|11.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 19.2863|
|12.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg / Walkinshaw Racing||+ 20.5706|
|13.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing||+ 24.1567|
|14.||Jason Bargwanna||Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing||+ 27.1829|
|15.||Alex Davison||Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 27.5236|
|16.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno||+ 32.4711|
|17.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing||+ 32.8997|
|18.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 33.1716|
|19.||Dean Fiore||Westrac Racing / Triple F Racing||+ 38.7010|
|20.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 38.8050|
|21.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||+ 45.6521|
|22.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 58.0231|
|23.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 1:00.0583|
|24.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell||1 lap behind|
|25.||James Moffat||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||2 laps behind|
|26.||Andrew Jones||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||5 laps behind|
|DNF.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||49 laps|
|DNF.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||26 laps|
[Image via Team Vodafone; video via V8 Supercars]