Craig Lowndes improved his prospects for another V8 Supercars title by winning the  Lowndes took the opening race win at Symmons Plains opening race of the V8 Supercars round at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains circuit today.

The Team Vodafone driver beat pole-sitter Garth Tander off the line to take the lead, and was never placed under any serious threat for the rest of the 50-lap race. Tander tried valiantly to cling to Lowndes’ coat-tails, but proved unable to mount any serious challenge.

Greg Murphy – who has endured a rubbish 2010 season – backed up his surprisingly good performance in qualifying by completing the podium, finishing a few seconds ahead of Paul Dumbrell who had climbed up from his tenth-placed starting position.

Fifth-placed Mark Winterbottom had put himself in contention to take a podium finish himself, but slid off the track on his out-lap following his compulsory pit stop, which dropped him a couple of places.

He was chased to the line by championship contender Jamie Whincup – who had himself improved five places from his starting position – and Russell Ingall.

Eighth-placed Steven Richards held off a seven-car train (covered by just six seconds at the end of the race) that included Michael Caruso, Lee Holdsworth and championship leader James Courtney.

Courtney’s generally anonymous showing in the race sees his championship lead over Whincup shrink to just 41 points, while Lowndes’ win closed the gap by 78 points to a 188-point deficit. Fourth-placed Winterbottom lies 281 points behind Courtney.

Race 1 Final Classification (50 laps):

  Driver   Team Result
1. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone 44:18.2888
2. Garth Tander Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team + 4.1579
3. Greg Murphy Holden Castrol Edge Racing + 7.9877
4. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team + 10.2710
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford Ford Performance Racing + 11.6385
6. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone + 12.4524
7. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto Racing + 12.6346
8. Steven Richards Ford Ford Performance Racing + 18.9877
9. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / GRM + 19.8738
10. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing / GRM + 20.0846
11. James Courtney Ford Jim Beam Racing + 20.5076
12. Jason Bright Holden Trading Post Racing + 22.1773
13. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools Racing + 22.6689
14. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing + 23.1384
15. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing + 24.6882
16. Jason Richards Holden Team BOC + 27.3549
17. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing + 31.4606
18. Jonathon Webb Ford Dick Johnson Racing + 32.4954
19. Tim Slade Ford Wilson Security Racing + 32.9001
20. Alex Davison Ford IRWIN Racing + 36.9833
21. Tony D’Alberto Holden Centaur Racing + 41.1846
22. Will Davison Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team + 43.5759
23. Dean Fiore Ford Triple F Racing + 49.4893
24. Andrew Thompson Holden Bundaberg Red Racing + 49.9732
25. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing + 1 lap
26. Tony Ricciardello Holden Stratco Racing + 1 lap
27. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg Red Racing + 1 lap
  Not Classified      
  Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing 36 laps
  Jason Bargwanna Holden ROCK Racing 1 lap

[Original image via Speed Cafe]

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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.