The highlights from the opening Clipsal 500 race

TOLL Holden Racing’s Garth Tander has taken victory at the opening race of the Clipsal 500 from pole position, and made history with his 48th career win, equalling the record held by the late Peter Brock. Tander’s victory also marks a hat-trick of wins on the Adelaide street circuit, after winning both races last year.

The former V8 Supercars Champion enjoyed a thrilling fight to the chequered flag with   fellow front-row starter, Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup, with the pair crossing the finishing line just half a second apart. Whincup’s team-mate Craig Lowndes completed the rostrum.

Rounding out the top five placegetters were Holden runners Jason Bright (Team BOC) and Fabian Coulthard (Bundaberg Racing).

Mark Winterbottom was the highest-placed Ford driver in sixth place, while the top ten included the likes of Todd Kelly, Tim Slade, Will Davison and Jason Bargwanna.

At the front of the field, it was Tander who made a clean getaway from pole, while Whincup lost ground off the line and had to fight his way back up the order. By the twelfth lap, he was running behind – and quicker than – Tander, and passed him for the lead into the hairpin just a few laps later.

The running order remained similar after the first pit stop, although Tander had momentarily fallen behind Ricky Kelly until he was successfully able to overtake and Garth Tander won the opening race of the Clipsal 500 close back on Whincup, and the HRT driver resumed the lead later in the race.

A late safety car interruption – to clear the wreck of James Moffat’s wrecked Ford – bunched the field back up and brought fuel preservation into the equation. Ultimayely, Tander held on in an exciting dash to the flag.

The biggest casualty of an action-packed race was James Courtney, who clobbered the wall at Turn 7 and had to pit to repair bent steering – he finished well adrift in 24th place. He had also been issued with a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Steve Owen was another to come to grief on the tight confines of the street circuit, bending his Holden’s chassis after smashing into the Turn 8 cement barriers and ruling himself out of the action for the rest of the weekend.

His Paul Morris Motorsport team-mate Russell Ingall also failed to finish after he crashed heavily at Turn 13.

The second 250km leg runs tomorrow, preceded by a two-stage qualifying process.


V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Final Classification (Race 1 – 76 laps):

  Driver   Team Time
1. Garth Tander Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team 2:07:57.1302
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone + 0.5420
3. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone + 2.4714
4. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC + 3.3237
5. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg Racing + 4.8142
6. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel FPR + 5.1233
7. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing + 5.7659
8. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing + 7.0203
9. Will Davison Ford Trading Post FPR + 7.4927
10. Jason Bargwanna Holden Team BOC + 8.8062
11. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing + 9.0442
12. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s Racing + 9.6261
13. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tool Racing FPR + 9.8966
14. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team + 10.2409
15. Dean Fiore Ford Triple F Racing + 11.7690
16. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing GRM + 12.1319
17. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security Racing + 13.8351
18. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew + 14.1996
19. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing + 14.7265
20. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing GRM + 15.6680
21. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing + 17.1100
22. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing + 17.5182
23. Alex Davison Ford Irwin Racing + 46.0882
24. James Courtney Holden TOLL Holden Racing Team + 1:15.4207
25. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team + 1:18.4119
  Not Classified      
  James Moffatt Ford Jim Beam Racing 68 laps
  Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto Racing 58 laps
  Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods 44 laps

[Original image via Holden Racing Team]

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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.