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:
|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]