Craig Lowndes has taken the V8 Supercars Championship points lead after he and co-driver Warren Luff claimed victory in an action-packed opening race of the ArmorAll Gold Coast 600.
His fortune came off the back of a disastrous Saturday for his teammate and former points leader Jamie Whincup, whose prospects for retaining his point lead were ruined after a troubled qualifying session where he crashed, which was further compounded when his co-driver collided with the James Courtney / Greg Murphy HRT Commodore early in the race.
The 102-lap race was punctuated by numerous safety car interruptions triggered by crashes and incidents through the field, which served to throw some teams’ strategies into disarray.
One beneficiary was the Tekno Autosport combination of Shane van Gisbergen and Jeroen Bleekemolen, who found themselves leading into the closing stages of the race until the final round of pit stops.
Their result was all the more impressive given they had to make an extra trip through the pit lane after being mechanically black-flagged when his #5 Ford’s side window came loose.
They finished just metres in front of the Tony D’Alberto / Jonny Reid combination (pictured above), who netted D’Alberto’s eponymous team its best result of the season on the back of a strong qualifying performance.
Russell Ingall and Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top-five in their SuperCheap Auto Commodore, with Will Davison and Steve Owen finishing sixth in the sister FPR Ford. Davison rather embarrassingly tangled with his brother Alex, who drives the affiliate Charlie Schwerkolt-owned Falcon.
David Wall and co-driver Chris Pither brought some solace for the Brad Jones Racing stable, after their lead drivers Jason Bright and Fabian Coulthard both ran into trouble. Bright failed to make qualifying and the race start following a huge practice accident on Friday when co-driver Andrew Jones was behind the wheel. Coulthard was in contention for a podium finish until he damaged his suspension after hopping the kerbs.
The second 300-kilometre race of the weekend will take place tomorrow, which will be preceded by a 30-minute qualifying session.
2013 V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 – Race 1 Final Classification (102 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff||Triple 8 Engineering||2:12:10.610|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen / Jeroen Bleekemolen||Tekno Autosports||+ 8.715|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Richards||Ford Performance Racing||+ 12.719|
|4.||Tony D’Alberto / Jonny Reid||Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 13.095|
|5.||Russell Ingall / Ryan Briscoe||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 18.244|
|6.||Will Davison / Steve Owen||Ford Performance Racing||+ 26.108|
|7.||David Wall / Chris Pither||Brad Jones Racing||+ 32.110|
|8.||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||Ford Performance Racing||+ 33.483|
|9.||Chaz Mostert / Dale Wood||Dick Johnson Racing||+ 35.233|
|10.||Jonathon Webb / Marc Lieb||Tekno Autosports||+ 35.528|
|11.||Rick Kelly / Karl Reindler||Nissan Motorsport||+ 35.962|
|12.||Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird||Erebus Motorsport||+ 38.114|
|13.||Scott Pye / Paul Morris||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 51.962|
|14.||Alexandre Prémat / Greg Ritter||Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 54.409|
|15.||Tim Slade / David Brabham||Erebus Motorsport||+ 55.021|
|16.||Dean Fiore / Matt Halliday||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 1 lap|
|17.||Todd Kelly / David Russell||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1 lap|
|18.||Garth Tander / Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Performance||+ 3 laps|
|19.||Tim Blanchard / Ashley Walsh||Dick Johnson Racing||+ 5 laps|
|20.||Alex Davison / John McIntyre||Ford Performance Racing||+ 5 laps|
|21.||Maro Engel / Steven Johnson||Erebus Motorsport||+ 6 laps|
|22.||Scott McLaughlin / Jack Perkins||Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 10 laps|
|Not Classified||Entry / Team||Result|
|DNF.||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||Nissan Motorsport||Engine|
|DNF.||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||Brad Jones Racing||Damage|
|DNF.||Michael Caruso / Daniel Gaunt||Nissan Motorsport||Damage|
|DNF.||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||Triple 8 Engineering||Driveshaft|
|DNF.||James Courtney / Greg Murphy||Walkinshaw Performance||Collision|
|DNS.||Jason Bright / Andrew Jones||Brad Jones Racing|