Former champion Jamie Whincup has continued his domination at Yas Marina, taking a third consecutive win at the circuit when the V8 Supercars Championship kicked off overnight.
The Team Vodafone is the only series driver to-date to have tasted victory on the Hermann Tilke circuit, winning by a comfortable thirteen seconds from Alex Davison and Mark Winterbottom.
Starting from the front row, Whincup and his team-mate and polesitter made poor getaways, allowing Davison to take the lead into Turn 1 from third on the grid.
But Whincup would quickly readdress the situation, passing Davison on the opening lap along the back straight, and set about on building a cushion for an unchallenged victory.
As Whincup disappeared into the distance, Davison and Winterbottom enjoyed a lengthy battle for second place, which was eventually resolved in Davison’s favour when Winterbottom’s second pit stop proved slower than the Irwin Tools racing team, giving Davison his second ever podium finish.
Shane van Gisbergen made up the most ground during the race, finishing fourth after starting the race from a lowly 15th. Behind the Kiwi, young Tim Slade held on to fifth place, fending off a strong attack from TOLL HRT’s Garth Tander, who had also staged an impressive charge from a 14th-placed starting position.
Tander’s team-mate, the defending champion James Courtney, had a rotten maiden outing for the HRT outfit after he tangled with Jason Bargwanna and lost a lot of time in the pits having the damage repaired. But the former Jaguar F1 test driver showed his pace one the panel-beating had been done, posting a series of fastest laps on-track despite finishing a disappointing 26th.
Another driver who should be disappointed with a squandered opportunity was polesitter Craig Lowndes, who stalled off the line and dropped well down the field. He eventually finished in seventh place, but worked his tyres hard trying to make up lost ground.
Race 2 is scheduled for Saturday, preceded by a 20-minute qualifying session.
V8 Supercars Yas 400 Final Classification (Race 1 – 43 laps):
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone||1:27:01.678|
|2.||Alex Davison||Irwin Racing||+ 13.202|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel FPR||+ 15.282|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tool Racing FPR||+ 19.901|
|5.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing||+ 20.984|
|6.||Garth Tander||TOLL Holden Racing Team||+ 30.989|
|7.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone||+ 37.346|
|8.||Fabian Coulthard||Huzzah Racing||+ 38.428|
|9.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 57.995|
|10.||Todd Kelly||Kelly Racing||+ 1:01.376|
|11.||Steven Johnson||Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1:03.349|
|12.||Will Davison||Trading Post FPR||+ 1:10.576|
|13.||Rick Kelly||Kelly Racing||+ 1:16.422|
|14.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods||+ 1:17.254|
|15.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 1:19.802|
|16.||James Moffatt||Dick Johnson Racing||+ 1:22.062|
|17.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing||+ 1:27.459|
|18.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security Racing||+ 1:29.439|
|19.||Jason Bargwanna||Team BOC||+ 1:32.847|
|20.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team||+ 1:35.233|
|21.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 1:40.083|
|22.||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||+ 1:57.979|
|23.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing||1 lap behind|
|24.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto Racing||1 lap behind|
|25.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team||4 laps behind|
|26.||James Courtney||TOLL Holden Racing Team||4 laps behind|
|Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||41 laps|
|Jason Bright||Team BOC||20 laps|
[Original video via V8 Supercars Australia]
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