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 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):
|1.||Garth Tander||TOLL Holden Racing Team||2:07:57.1302|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone||+ 0.5420|
|3.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone||+ 2.4714|
|4.||Jason Bright||Team BOC||+ 3.3237|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg Racing||+ 4.8142|
|6.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel FPR||+ 5.1233|
|7.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||+ 5.7659|
|8.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing||+ 7.0203|
|9.||Will Davison||Trading Post FPR||+ 7.4927|
|10.||Jason Bargwanna||Team BOC||+ 8.8062|
|11.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing||+ 9.0442|
|12.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||+ 9.6261|
|13.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tool Racing FPR||+ 9.8966|
|14.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team||+ 10.2409|
|15.||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||+ 11.7690|
|16.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 12.1319|
|17.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security Racing||+ 13.8351|
|18.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 14.1996|
|19.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||+ 14.7265|
|20.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 15.6680|
|21.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing||+ 17.1100|
|22.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing||+ 17.5182|
|23.||Alex Davison||Irwin Racing||+ 46.0882|
|24.||James Courtney||TOLL Holden Racing Team||+ 1:15.4207|
|25.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 1:18.4119|
|James Moffatt||Jim Beam Racing||68 laps|
|Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto Racing||58 laps|
|Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods||44 laps|
[Original image via Holden Racing Team]
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