Defending V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has staged an impressive recovery drive to claim victory in the second and final race of the Falken Tasmania Challenge event at Symmons Plains Raceway. The TeamVodafone driver suffered a dramatic spin in the early stages of the race, but still managed to win from Shane van Gisbergen and yesterday’s race-winner Will Davison.
Perhaps reigning champion Jamie Whincup was inspired by fellow tin-top champion Yvan Muller, who himself had a spin in the second race of the Race of Italy earlier this month, which he also went on to win.
But in any case, Whincup showed his mettle to bounce back from a frustrating Saturday with a fine display of driving over today’s longer 84-lap race.
Team-mate and pole-sitter Craig Lowndes led the race early on, only to surrender the lead to Davison at the first round of pit stops. Attempting to regain the lead, Lowndes then made a rare mistake when he tagged the right-rear corner of Davison’s Ford as the pair braked for the Turn 4 hairpin. Lowndes’ front left suspension was completely destroyed and he was out of the race.
From that point on, Davison seemed to struggle with the handling of his car, and he lost places to team-mate Mark Winterbottom, followed by Whincup.
Whincup had himself had plenty of drama in the early stages of the race. Starting from fifth place, he was quickly up to third past van Gisbergen and Winterbottom, only to spin at the Hairpin and hand those places back.
Having recovered back up to what was an effective second place courtesy of Lowndes’ crash (and the Safety Car period that followed), Whincup harried Winterbottom for the lead until the second and final pit stops.
He took the lead when Winterbottom momentarily stalled as he tried to leave his pit bay, leaving the frustrated FPR driver to finish a frustrated fifth as van Gisbergen, Davison and Tim Slade were promoted ahead of him.
The top-ten were completed by Lee Holdsworth, Michael Caruso (who climbed up from 22nd on the grid), James Courtney, Jonathon Webb and Todd Kelly.
Whincup’s win means he now closes the points gap to Davison to just 18 points, while a consistent weekend for Winterbottom puts him just six points further adrift.
2012 V8 Supercars Falken Tasmania Challenge – Race 2 Result (84 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Laps||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||84||1:17:26.3867|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||84||+ 5.004|
|3.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||84||+ 6.6828|
|4.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||84||+ 7.7663|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||84||+ 9.2429|
|6.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||84||+ 10.6119|
|7.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||84||+ 19.7796|
|8.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||84||+ 24.4142|
|9.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||84||+ 27.6165|
|10.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||84||+ 28.5769|
|11.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||84||+ 34.5423|
|12.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||84||+ 35.1267|
|13.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||84||+ 37.9073|
|14.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||84||+ 38.4144|
|15.||Tony D’Alberto||Tony D’Alberto Racing||84||+ 42.2498|
|16.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||84||+ 42.9788|
|17.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||84||+ 43.1857|
|18.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||84||+ 48.0102|
|19.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||84||+ 48.9916|
|20.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||84||+ 49.3237|
|21.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||83||+ 1 lap|
|22.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||83||+ 1 lap|
|23.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||83||+ 1 lap|
|24.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||83||+ 1 lap|
|25.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||82||+ 2 laps|
|26.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||72||+ 12 laps|
|DNF.||David Russell||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||77||Engine|
|DNF.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||29||Accident|