Team Vodafone took an important 1-2 in the second race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 today, with championship leader Jamie Whincup leading home team-mate Craig Lowndes on the streets of Townsville.
The win – Whincup’s sixth of the year and his third overall at this circuit – came off the back of a hard-charging opening stint of the 72-lap race that brought him into contention at the front of the field after a disappointing qualifying session. He then saved his switch to the softer-compound Dunlop tyres until the end of the race, allowing a late surge to overtake Mark Winterbottom for second place and Lowndes for the lead with under 10 laps to go.
Lowndes has opted for a different tyre strategy that didn’t quite pay off, but second place helped to cement his position in the Drivers’ Championship race and keep his hopes alive of challenging runaway leader Whincup. Winterbottom completed the podium places.
James Courtney opted to run his soft-compound tyres in the opening stint, and it took little time for the Holden Racing Team driver to showcase the skills that had earned him the title last season. The former Jaguar F1 test driver sliced through the field to take the lead, but was later slapped with a drive-through penalty for making contact with Tim Slade. He finished a disconsolate 19th.
Fourth place went to Alex Davison, who made remarkable progress after an awful qualifying session that saw him start from 22nd place. He finished one place ahead of Stone Brothers Racing team-mate Shane van Gisbergen.
Slade survived contact with Courtney and Jason Bright to finish a creditable seventh, using his soft tyres to great effect in the final stint of the race. He finished one place behind Lee Holdsworth.
Fabian Coulthard, Russell Ingall and Paul Dumbrell rounded out the top ten.
Yesterday’s race winner Garth Tander looked strong for another healthy points haul until a broken shock absorber mount ended his hopes.
The series now takes a well-deserved break before resuming action in mid-August at Queensland Raceway for the three-race Ipswich 300.
V8 Supercars Sucrogen Townsville 400 Final Classification (Race 2 – 72 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||1:32:45.8802|
|2.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering||+ 4.3938|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||+ 11.2406|
|4.||Alex Davison||Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 13.9425|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 19.9231|
|6.||Lee Holdsworth||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 20.4439|
|7.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing||+ 27.3169|
|8.||Fabian Coulthard||Bundaberg / Walkinsaw Racing||+ 29.4344|
|9.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 30.1509|
|10.||Paul Dumbrell||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||+ 32.3014|
|11.||Jason Bargwanna||Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing||+ 32.7764|
|12.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 35.6316|
|13.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 35.6504|
|14.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport||+ 35.9723|
|15.||James Moffat||Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 36.5500|
|16.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 42.3529|
|17.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||+ 43.3410|
|18.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||+ 44.8740|
|19.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 48.8695|
|20.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||+ 52.7639|
|21.||Warren Luff||Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell||+ 55.5833|
|22.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 56.8638|
|23.||David Reynolds||Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing||+ 1:09.2312|
|24.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing||+ 4 laps|
|25.||Tony D’Alberto||Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 5 laps|
|26.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||+ 10 laps|
|DNF.||Dean Fiore||Triple F Racing||39 laps|
|DNF.||Jonathon Webb||Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno||1 lap|