Mark Winterbottom has claimed his first victory of the 2011 V8 Supercars season after he and co-driver staged a hard-charging drive to win today’s 300-kilometre leg of the ArmorAll 600 on the Gold Coast.
With co-driver Richard Lyons starting the #5 Ford Performance Racing entry from the second row of the grid, the Irishman kept in touch with the leaders to ensure that Winterbottom could remain in contention when he took over behind the wheel during the driver changeover.
‘Frosty’ successfully chased down race leader Jamie Whincup, passing the Triple 8 Holden driver with less than ten laps to go, securing the team’s first win of an often trying season – incredibly, it was just the third race win of the year for Ford.
A mid-race safety car proved a blessing in disguise for Winterbottom, as it allowed him to jump Craig Lowndes’ second-placed Triple 8 Holden when he was forced to queue in the pits behind team-mate Whincup. His disastrous weekend was capped off by being forced to pit again with damage; he finished a distant 20th.
The hold-up meant Lowndes dropped to twelfth place, all but consigning him to collecting what points he could, while Whincup was able to further extend the championship lead he reclaimed after winning yesterday’s first race (which Lowndes failed to finish).
Whincup and co-driver Sebastien Bourdais finished second, with the Frenchman tearfully accepting the Dan Wheldon Trophy bestowed to the best ‘international class’ driver at the event.
Third place was claimed by the Garry Rogers Holden pairing of Lee Holdsworth and Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.
The start of the race effectively set the tone for what turned out to be a panel-bending race. Christian Klien was deposited into the barriers courtesy of fellow former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, which prompted a safety car intervention while Klien’s stricken #55 Rod Nash Racing Ford was recovered.
IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe (co-driver with Garth Tander) retired the #2 HRT Holden with a broken rear axle after a dozen laps, and just two laps later, Augusto Farfus was tipped into a spin by Richard Westbrook.
A host of the ‘international class’ drivers were issued with drive-through penalties for too much kerb-hopping at the Turn 2 chicane, with all being served before it was realised that the sensor installed in the kerb was malfunctioning.
V8 Supercars 2011 ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 Race 2 Final Standings (102 laps):
|1.||M. Winterbottom / R. Lyons||Ford Performance Racing||102||2:14:08.1572|
|2.||J. Whincup / S. Bourdais||Triple 8 Race Engineering||102||+ 1.5564|
|3.||L. Holdsworth / S. Pagenaud||Garry Rogers Motorsport||102||+ 3.1042|
|4.||G. Murphy / O. Gavin||Kelly Racing||102||+ 8.6988|
|5.||R. Kelly / J. Bergmeister||Kelly Racing||102||+ 11.2793|
|6.||J. Courtney / D. Turner||Holden Racing Team||102||+ 11.9509|
|7.||S. Owen / B. Said||Paul Morris Motorsport||102||+ 13.4878|
|8.||R. Ingall / J. Magnussen||Paul Morris Motorsport||102||+ 14.9391|
|9.||T. Kelly / R. Westbrook||Kelly Racing||102||+ 15.3354|
|10.||T. Slade / H. Castroneves||Stone Brothers Racing||102||+ 15.5574|
|11.||D. Reynolds / A. Tagliani||Kelly Racing||102||+ 17.0818|
|12.||S. Johnson / D. Müller||Dick Johnson Racing||102||+ 17.5720|
|13.||J. Webb / G. De Ferran||Tekno Autosports||102||+ 17.6506|
|14.||W. Davison / M. Salo||Ford Performance Racing||102||+ 19.7038|
|15.||F. Coulthard / P. Long||Walkinshaw Racing||102||+ 21.7543|
|16.||S. van Gisbergen / E. Pirro||Stone Brothers Racing||102||+ 27.1349|
|17.||J. Bargwanna / A. Simonsen||Brad Jones Racing||102||+ 39.0365|
|18.||A. Davison / M. Lieb||Stone Brothers Racing||102||+ 43.4389|
|19.||T/ D’Alberto / V. Liuzzi||Tony D’Alberto Racing||102||+ 43.9577|
|20.||C. Lowndes / A. Priaulx||Triple 8 Race Engineering||102||+ 53.1137|
|21.||M. Caruso / A. Farfus||Garry Rogers Motorsport||99||3 laps behind|
|22.||K. Reindler / F. Giovanardi||Britek / Brad Jones Racing||98||4 laps behind|
|23.||G. Tander / R. Briscoe||Holden Racing Team||82||20 laps behind|
|DNF.||J. Moffat / J. Hand||Dick Johnson Racing||77||Mechanical|
|DNF.||D. Fiore / G. Morbidelli||Triple F Racing||51||Collision|
|DNF.||J. Bright / S. Sarrazin||Brad Jones Racing||51||Collision|
|DNF.||W. Luff / M. Franchitti||Lucas Dumbrell||15||Engine|
|DNF.||P. Dumbrell / C. Klien||Rod Nash / FPR||0||Collision|
[Image and video via V8 Supercars]