Jamie Whincup has become the second driver in Australian touring car history to achieve a century of race wins, crossing the finish line ahead of the inaugural ‘100 club’ inductee, teammate Craig Lowndes, at the second race of the Sydney Motorsport Park round on Sunday.
It was the Triple Eight stable’s seventh win on the trot in a dominant period for the squad in the mid-season, helping to extend Whincup’s championship lead over van Gisbergen – who finished fifth after being tapped into a spin by Volvo’s James Moffat – to 137 points heading into the start of the Pirtek Enduro Cup segment of the year.
As was the case on Saturday, pole position was claimed by the Prodrive-run Ford of Chaz Mostert, and as was also the case yesterday, his lead lasted mere seconds before he was jumped by a quick-starting Lowndes on the run to the first corner.
Mostert was shortly disposed of by Whincup as well, leaving the two Holden teammates to battle at the front of the field; Lowndes would lose the lead to Whincup when the two drivers made their pit stops, and from that point Whincup was able to cruise to his milestone victory.
Mostert would cross the line in third place, ahead of fellow Ford runner Fabian Coulthard, but staged an epic battle early in the race with van Gisbergen before their pit stops.
Van Gisbergen finished a frustrated fifth. After losing ground to Mostert following their visit to the pits, he found himself under attack by Moffat, who was on course for his best result of his first season in Volvo colours.
It all came to a tyre-squealing end, however, when Moffat stuck his nose up the inside of van Gisbergen at the downhill Turn 8 right-hander. He was too far behind to make the move stick and ended up pitching the Holden driver into a half-spin. The incident would earn Moffat a drive-through penalty than demoted him to an 18th-placed finish.
Sixth place went to the sister Volvo of Scott McLaughlin, who beat home the Holden Racing Team duo of Garth Tander and James Courtney. Nissan Motorsport drivers Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso rounded out the top ten finishers.
Defending champion Mark Winterbottom suffered another dent to his ever-slimming hopes of claiming back-to-back titles, finishing fourteenth after suffering damage to his front tyre that forced an early pit stop.
The Australian Supercars field will return to racing on the weekend of September 14-15 for the first round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup, the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
|2016 Australian Supercars Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint – Race 19 Top-10 Finishers (51 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Engineering||1:20:45.166|
|2.||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Engineering||+ 2.659|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Rod Nash Racing||+ 8.131|
|4.||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske||+ 15.783|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Engineering||+ 21.629|
|6.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 23.846|
|7.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||+ 25.694|
|8.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||+ 26.108|
|9.||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 45.450|
|10.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||+ 45.629|
Image via Motorsport.com