Garth Tander won the opening race in Townsville

Garth Tander has returned to winning form by taking his (and the Holden Racing Team’s) first win since March’s Clipsal 500, after the Western Australian won the opening race of this weekend’s Sucrogen 400 on the streets of Townsville.

The former V8 Supercars champion is the only driver to have finished on the podium in every race he has started at Townsville, and he finally took to the top step of the podium after electing to pit early and undercut his rivals to gain track position.

With this 72-lap event being another in which the teams would have to use the hard and soft-compound Dunlop control tyres during the race, David Reynolds and Paul Dumbrell found themselves quickly climbing to the front of the race after being the only two in the 28-car field to start the race on the softer tyres.

But when Tander made his first pit stop and everyone elected to go onto the harder compound tyres for the middle stint of the race, Reynolds and Dumbrell found themselves quickly overhauled as Tander swept through into the lead.

Sadly for Reynolds, his impressive run would come to nought when he clashed with the luckless James Courtney trying to lap the defending champion, and his race would go completely pear-shaped when he lost plenty of laps as he pitted with an alternator issue.

The race settled down as it wore on, and championship leader Jamie Whincup found himself in a secure second place in the latter stages of the race, unable to make much of an inroad into Tander’s race lead.

Will Davison made a welcome return to the podium with a fine drive to third (matching his impressive qualifying performance), staging a late defence against a charge from Whincup’s team-mate Craig Lowndes in the closing laps of the race.

Pole-sitter Mark Winterbottom was unable yet again to convert his single-lap pace into a much-needed first win of the season, and he finished in fifth place after losing ground during the pit stops.



V8 Supercars Sucrogen Townsville 400 Final Classification (Race 1 – 72 laps):

  Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 1:31:22.6745
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 3.3141
3. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 12.8252
4. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 13.2325
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 15.6250
6. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 17.5919
7. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 23.8718
8. Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport + 31.7026
9. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 35.2995
10. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport + 35.8311
11. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing + 39.6310
12. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 41.6428
13. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing + 44.2696
14. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 47.1716
15. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg / Walkinsaw Racing + 49.7466
16. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 1:02.0829
17. James Moffat Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing + 1:03.2086
18. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 1 lap
19. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 1 lap
20. Dean Fiore Ford Triple F Racing + 1 lap
21. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno + 1 lap
22. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing + 2 laps
23. Jason Bargwanna Holden Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing + 8 laps
24. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing + 10 laps
25. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing + 14 laps
26. Alex Davison Ford Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing + 15 laps
DNF. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell 62 laps
DNF. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 30 laps

[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.