Jason Bright has taken his second race win in as many rounds after claiming victory in his Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore in today’s second race at the V8 Supercars Championship round at Winton Raceway.
The former V8s champion used a late pit-stop strategy to great effect, taking advantage of much more superior tyre grip to charge through the field to take the win in today’s 67-lap race.
After his second pit stop for fresh rubber, Bright was down in eighth place, by he scythed up the order. Wth five laps to go, he took third from Michael Caruso, and then passed Garth Tander on the next lap to find himself in second place.
And Jamie Whincup was now Bright’s next target, and the Team Vodafone driver would find his long-standing race lead demolished in the space of two laps as Bright closed up the 2.5 seconds onto the leading Commodore.
Heading into Turn 1, Bright made his move and a popular race win was assured. Just a few seconds after crossing the finish line, the dark clouds that had hung overhead after qualifying finally released their contents, soaking the circuit.
Fittingly, Bright was joined on the podium by Jason Richards, the team’s long-standing driver who has been sidelined by adrenal cancer. Bright dedicated his Race 2 win at Barbagallo Raceway to Richards – who was in the United States at the time receiving treatment – and the thrill at sharing the celebrations together was clear for all to see.
But before Bright’s charge in the final stages, there had actually still been a very enjoyable race up and down the field.
Whincup and Tander were the main contenders for the race win, and both passed pole-sitter Mark Winterbottom – suffering from horrible rear tyre wear – before the first round of pit stops. Winterbottom would eventually finish a disconsolate 19th.
After the first series of pit stops, Tander managed to close the gap to Whincup and took the lead just before half-distance – only to find their positions would swap when the pair pitted for the second stops nose-to-tail and Tander found himself unable to get going from hit pit bay.
But when Bright worked his magic, this left Whincup and Tander to squabble over second and third place – Tander himself just managed to fend off Shane van Gisbergen’s efforts to relieve him of third place.
Like Bright, Fabian Coulthard used a late pit strategy to great effect to finish fifth after a problem-ridden qualifying session that saw him start from a lowly 14th. The top ten was completed by Michael Caruso, Craig Lowndes, Steven Johnson, James Moffat and Steve Owen.
Reigning champion James Courtney’s poor qualifying result put him a tight squeeze when the inevitable wheel-banging reared its head in the opening laps, and he lost plenty of time pitting for repairs to his Holden.
With the next round in late June at Darwin, Whincup’s win and second place sees him extend his championship lead over team-mate Craig Lowndes to almost 300 points, while Tander and Bright follow closely behind to complete the top-four. Van Gisbergen is a further seven points behind in fifth and is the highest-placed Ford driver.
V8 Supercars Winton 300 Final Classification (Race 2 – 67 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||1:40:15.5814|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||+ 1.5986|
|3.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 2.9638|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 3.2623|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg / Walkinsaw Racing||+ 11.5587|
|6.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 11.5792|
|7.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||+ 16.2877|
|8.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 17.3278|
|9.||James Moffat||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 17.5564|
|10.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 27.5821|
|11.||Greg Murphy*||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||+ 32.5007|
|12.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno||+ 36.5075|
|13.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 38.4275|
|14.||Jason Bargwanna||Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing||+ 39.5989|
|15.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 39.9719|
|16.||Alex Davison||Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 40.7405|
|17.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 40.7720|
|18.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||+ 41.2003|
|19.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 43.2948|
|20.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing||+ 50.4328|
|21.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 1:00.3536|
|22.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell||+ 1:13.6330|
|23.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing||+ 1:15.8861|
|24.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 6 laps|
|25.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 7 laps|
|DNF.||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||15 laps|
|DNF.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||2 laps|
|DNF.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport||2 laps|
*The Stewards excluded Car #11 Greg Murphy from the Results of Qualifying for the use of non-control wheels.