The Queensland Raceway track has been dominated by the Red Bull Racing’s Holden team for the last few years, but it is usually the veteran Craig Lowndes at the top of the podium. This wasn’t his Saturday, though, as the Saturday 60/60 SuperSprint race win was taken decisively by his teammate Jamie Whincup.
For the first time in four years, 30-year-old Whincup converted pole position at Queensland Raceway into a win, stretching his championship lead to 131 points from Lowndes who came in fourth. Behind Whincup was rising star rookie Scott McLaughlin in the Fujitsu GRM Commodore and Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom came in third.
"It’s great to bounce back from Townsville. We just have to keep our heads down," Whincup said after the race.
"It’s never good when you are not performing. But that was the best speed we have enjoyed all year so it’s encouraging."
Winterbottom overcame a controversial early incident with Lowndes to claim the podium position. Lowndes executed a bold move on the third corner of the first lap, nudging Frosty’s FPR car, which in turn pushed Fabian Coulthard wide out off the track. Lowndes blamed Coulthard for the incident.
“My impression is that Coulthard overshot it and he had the contact with Frosty,” the series veteran said.
“There’s not a mark on my car. I didn’t feel anything. Overall for the day we’re a little disappointed, we didn’t quite have what we hoped in terms of set-up. We made a change at half-time and went a step forward but we didn’t quite fix the problem. But tomorrow’s a new day and we’ve got two races to get back there.”
That defence didn’t wash with the race stewards, who have penalised Lowndes two grid spots for the first of Sunday’s two 100-kilometre races.
Behind Lowndes, the finish line consisted of HRT’s James Courtney in fifth, FPR’s Will Davison, Jason Bright, Garth Tander (who recovered from a disastrous 19th-placed qualifying result), Alex Davison and James Moffat in the Nissan rounding out the top ten.
The rookie Kiwi, McLaughlin, was pretty happy with his result.
“I tried to get as good a start as I can… I did and the rest is history,” he smiled afterwards.
“I’m pretty happy with how we ended up after that. I was pretty happy, I was worried I was going to get turfed off a couple of times.”
At the other end of the spectrum though, Erebus struggled after they showed good form in practice. Tim Slade was the only Erebus driver to qualify in the top ten, and with teammates Lee Holdsworth and Maro Engel down in 17th and 18th respectively, it wasn’t an easy day at the office. Slade eventually finished 24th, hampered with braking issues in the race.
Teammate Lee Holdsworth once again failed to finish, this time copping a hit on the opening lap of the race’s second leg. He took to Twitter after Saturday’s track action: “When’s this disaster run gonna end! Tomorrow’s another day, time to turn this luck around.”
“We’re disappointed, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Holdsworth related after the race.
“Obviously qualifying down the back there was no good, it’s where you get caught up in all the trouble. It comes looking for you.
“If we can try and get up a bit further I’m sure we’ll start getting some really good results. But at the moment it’s pretty ordinary.”
Dave Stuart, the Erebus team manager admitted his disappointment.
“Today was disappointing for the team as they have worked really hard over the course of the weekend, and have worked tirelessly over the course of the year to advance our program to this point.
“The up side is every time we come out we are making very obvious improvements and we are getting closer to the front each the time.
“Tomorrow’s another day and we will look at what we have to do tonight to get the cars back on track and improve our performance for tomorrow.”
The race’s other retiree was David Reynolds, who suffered a front tyre failure after some contact during the second leg of the race.
Tomorrow sees the action continue with two more 100km races – stay tuned on RichardsF1.com for all the news and analysis!
2013 V8 Supercars Ipswich 360 – Race 1 Final Classification (40 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||1:12:39.942|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 0.565|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 0.821|
|4.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 1.132|
|5.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 2.145|
|6.||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 3.030|
|7.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 5.645|
|8.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 8.919|
|9.||Alex Davison||Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 10.475|
|10.||James Moffat||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 15.879|
|11.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 17.378|
|12.||Shane van Gisbergen||VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports||+ 20.368|
|13.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 20.947|
|14.||Russell Ingall||SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR||+ 22.436|
|15.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 23.390|
|16.||Tim Blanchard||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 23.930|
|17.||Dean Fiore||Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 23.998|
|18.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 24.592|
|19.||Maro Engel||SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 26.700|
|20.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 27.146|
|21.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 27.453|
|22.||Scott Pye||EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 29.122|
|23.||Chaz Mostert||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 31.398|
|24.||Tim Slade||Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 1 lap|
|25.||Michael Caruso||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 2 laps|
|26.||Jonathon Webb||Darrell Lea Racing / Tekno Autosports||+ 2 laps|
|DNF.||David Reynolds||Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing||39 laps|
|DNF.||Lee Holdsworth||IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport||21 laps|