Jamie Whincup has headed home a Tem Vodafone 1-2 in the opening V8 Supercars race of this weekend’s Trading Post Perth Challenge at Barbagallo Raceway.
The former champion converted his pole position into a race lead at the start of the 50-lap race, but he was to find himself coming under pressure from team-mate Craig Lowndes in the second half of the race.
Starting from third place, Lowndes had dropped to fourth behind Steven Johnson at the start, but his good result owed plenty to making a smart pit stop strategy early in the race, pitting on lap 14 and electing to change just two tyres.
By contrast, Whincup stayed out much longer until lap 28 – he also took on four tyres when he pitted – and emerged fractionally ahead of Lowndes, who had steadily made up ground through the field.
The two Holdens then in formation until the end of the race, with Whincup ensuring he did enough to keep Lowndes’ victory aspirations at bay.
Whincup’s fellow front-row starter Will Davison completed the podium with third place, while Shane van Gisbergen staged an impressive rise up the order to finish in fourth, having qualified just 16th.
Johnson finished in fifth place ahead of Jason Bright, while Karl Reindler finished a career-best seventh, backing up the outstanding qualifying result he achieved this morning. The top-ten was completed by Mark Winterbottom, Rick Kelly and reigning V8 Supercars champion James Courtney.
Despite several panel-running incidents during the race, Paul Dumbrell was the race’s only retirement, after a collision with James Moffat sent him sliding into the gravel trap at the final corner.
Tomorrow sees the drivers stage two more 50-lap races – both using the soft-compound Dunlop tyres for the races – with the grid order to be determined by another qualifying session. The fastest lap times for each driver will determine the starting order for Race 2, while the second-fastest lap times will determine the grid order for the final race.
V8 Supercars Trading Post Perth Challenge Final Classification (Race 1 – 50 laps):
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone||49:38:6955|
|2.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone||+ 0.9041|
|3.||Will Davison||Trading Post FPR||+ 6.7397|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tool Racing FPR||+ 8.1306|
|5.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing||+ 11.1240|
|6.||Jason Bright||Team BOC||+ 14.8305|
|7.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||+ 17.6138|
|8.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel FPR||+ 21.1226|
|9.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||+ 21.9802|
|10.||James Courtney||TOLL Holden Racing Team||+ 22.3162|
|11.||Jason Bargwanna||Jana Living Racing||+ 30.6765|
|12.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 32.3514|
|13.||Garth Tander||TOLL Holden Racing Team||+ 32.7136|
|14.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 33.1191|
|15.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 33.3054|
|16.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing GRM||+ 34.1442|
|17.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods||+ 34.3813|
|18.||James Moffat||Jim Beam Racing||+ 34.5738|
|19.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing||+ 35.8248|
|20.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team||+ 36.5063|
|21.||Alex Davison||Irwin Racing||+ 40.2178|
|22.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing||+ 40.4429|
|23.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg Racing||+ 40.8537|
|24.||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||+ 50.6872|
|25.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security Racing||+ 54.8532|
|26.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing||1 lap behind|
|27.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||1 lap behind|
|DNS||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team||40 laps|
[Images via Team Vodafone]