Rick Kelly claimed victory in a rain-hit race at Sandown 

Rick Kelly has claimed victory in teeming conditions in the first of this weekend’s V8 Supercars race at Sandown Raceway, mirroring his win earlier this year in the wet at Hamilton. The Jack Daniel’s Holden driver won by 3.7 seconds ahead of outgoing champion James Courtney, while team-mate Todd Kelly finished third.

Further down the order, a circumspect championship leader Jamie Whincup drove cautiously in the soaking conditions, falling down the field to 13th, after starting on the front row.

But his team-mate and sole championship rival Craig Lowndes threw caution to the wind after his disastrous performance in qualifying. Starting from the last row of the grid, the Team Vodafone Holden driver cut through the field, finishing a hugely impressive sixth to narrow the championship gap to Whincup to 158 points.

At the front of the field, Kelly remained in control of the race throughout, and managed the race’s three safety car interruptions with great effect.

Kelly’s mid-race lead over Courtney was wiped out with the second full-course caution, which was triggered by Greg Murphy binning his Holden on Lap 21.

Just a few laps of green-flag conditions later, and another safety car interruption. This time it was Jason Bargwanna who had crashed, although the Brad Jones Holden driver blamed James Moffat (Dick Johnson Ford) for tipping him into the wall at high speed.

Up at the front, Kelly managed his race restarts to perfection and kept Courtney at bay to claim his first win since the Darwin round.

Courtney finally found some form in what has been an awful year as defending champion, overtaking Will Davison (Ford Performance Racing) and Shane van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Ford) to finish second, while the elder Kelly brother claimed third place on the final lap.



V8 Supercars Norton 360 Sandown Challenge Final Classification (Race 1 – 37 laps):

  Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 58:57.5869
2. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 3.7225
3. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 4.4068
4. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 4.8955
5. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing + 5.8200
6. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 6.3721
7. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 7.4869
8. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 9.8719
9. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg / Walkinshaw Racing + 9.9133
10. Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport + 13.0046
11. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno + 14.9376
12. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 15.0599
13. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 15.6764
14. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport + 15.8810
15. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing + 17.7658
16. Alex Davison Ford Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing + 20.0634
17. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 21.1659
18. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing + 23.5031
19. Andrew Jones Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing + 23.5471
20. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing + 25.6118
21. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 27.8088
22. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell + 32.6220
23. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing 1 lap behind
DNF. James Moffat Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing 33 laps
DNF. Dean Fiore Ford Westrac Racing / Triple F Racing 33 laps
DNF. Jason Bargwanna Holden Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing 28 laps
DNF. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing 20 laps
DNF. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing 11 laps

[Image via Kelly Racing; video via V8 Supercars]

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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.