James Courtney Jim Beam Racing’s James Courtney has taken victory in the opening race of the V8 Supercars’ Ipswich 300 event at Queensland Raceway, marking Ford’s first win of the 2010 season in a year dominated (so far) by rival Holden.

Courtney (pictured) – a former test driver for the Jaguar Formula 1 team – passed Garth Tander for the lead on lap 4, and proceeded to pull clear at the rate of over a second per lap. He won by over 13 seconds by the chequered flag, but had actually slowed in the closing stages to preserve his car.

Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes staged a late-race charge after losing places during the pit stops, impressively passing three cars in a six-lap period.

New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen finished right behind Lowndes, after he too staged an impressive fight through the field, moving from seventh to third in the space of seven laps!

After a poor qualifying session, Lowndes’ team-mate Jamie Whincup would we well pleased with his fourth-placed finish. The defending champion had climbed to seventh place before taking the gamble of pitting earlier than the rest of the runners, using the clear track to his advantage to climb to third by the time the rest of the pit stops had reshuffled the order. He would later lose out to Lowndes and van Gisbergen on fresher tyres, but managed to scramble past Tander to climb to fourth.

Tander’s fifth place was a disappointing result, but he couldn’t sustain his pace through the race and only just managed to hold off Steven Johnson and Lee Holdsworth at the chequered flag.

Race 1 Final Classification:

  Driver Team Result
1. James Courtney Jim Beam Racing Ford 46:13.297
2. Craig Lowndes Team Vodafone Holden + 13.441
3. Shane van Gisbergen SP Tools Racing Ford + 14.846
4. Jamie Whincup Team Vodafone Holden + 20.061
5. Garth Tander TOLL HRT Holden + 21.754
6. Steven Johnson Jim Beam Racing Ford + 22.240
7. Lee Holdsworth Fujitsu Racing Holden + 23.297
8. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden + 26.496
9. Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing Ford + 32.921
10. Jonathon Webb Dick Johnson Racing Ford + 42.074
11. Tony D’Alberto Centaur Racing Holden + 44.687
12. Fabian Coulthard Bundaberg Red Racing Holden + 45.730
13. Jason Bright Trading Post Racing Holden + 48.800
14. Russell Ingall Supercheap Auto Racing Holden + 49.024
15. Will Davison TOLL HRT Holden + 49.361
16. Tim Slade Wilson Security Racing Holden + 54.146
17. Daniel Gaunt Gulf Western Oil Racing Holden + 54.387
18. Dean Fiore Triple-F Racing Ford + 54.681
19. Jason Bargwanna ROCK Racing Holden + 55.066
20. Andrew Thompson Bundaberg Red Racing Holden + 55.321
21. Paul Dumbrell Bottle-O Racing Holden + 1:02.576
22. Jason Richards Team BOC Holden + 1:03.559
23. Greg Murphy Castrol Edge Racing holden + 1:04.142
24. Karl Reindler Fair Dinkum Sheds Holden + 1:04.814
25. Michael Caruso Fujitsu Racing Holden + 1:14.667
26. Tony Ricciardello Stratco Racing Holden + 1 lap
27. Steven Richards Ford Performance Racing Ford + 1 lap
28. Alex Davison IRWIN Racing Ford + 3 laps
29. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden + 9 laps

[Original images via Zimbio]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.