Will Davison has won the opening race of the ITM 400 at Hamilton

V8 Supercars points leader Will Davison has claimed victory once again – and broken Ford Performance Racing’s duck at the circuit – in the first of two races this weekend on the streets of Hamilton in New Zealand.

Davison threaded his way through a chaotic first lap to be up to second place by the end of the opening tour, having started from sixth on the grid, and took the lead from pole-sitter Garth Tander just before the halfway point of the race.

The opening lap saw dramas for several runners, with front-row starter Shane van Gisbergen overcooking it under braking at Turn 1 and falling down the field to fifteenth after he was nudged from behind by David Reynolds’ Ford.

Reynolds himself ran wide at Turn 2 to allow Tander back into the lead, while the drama wasn’t over yet for local boy van Gisbergen, who made contact with Jamie Whincup, bending the New Zealander’s steering.

Tander assumed the lead early in the race and through the first phase of pit stops, but he was unable to keep the quicker Davison behind him in his middle stint.

Whincup had run fourth early on, but he lost ground with a stall in his first pit stop, and spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. Impressively, he was running third in the final laps, which became second when he got by Tander with less than four laps to run.

Despite fears that it would a fender-bending affair, the race saw just one safety car interruption when Alexandre Prémat whacked the wall and retired at two-thirds distance.

Davison managed to survive the interruption and lead from the restart, winning by 2.5 seconds from his championship rival Whincup. Tander finished third, ahead of Craig Lowndes, Rick Kelly, Steve Owen, James Courtney, Michael Caruso and Fabian Coulthard, with Russell Ingall rounding out the top 10.

David Reynolds looked on course for a career-best fourth place, but in a fashion that’s sadly becoming rather too much of a pattern, the excitable driver broke his suspension with a few laps to go after biffing the wall.

His FPR stablemate Mark Winterbottom also had high hopes for the race, but perhaps his Top-10 Shootout dramas were a portent of things to come: he finished last of the runners after he had to pit to investigate a steering issue, losing two laps.

2012 V8 Supercars ITM400 Hamilton – Race 1 Result (59 laps):

Driver Entry / Team Laps Result
1. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing 59 1:28:43.7686
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 59 + 2.5284
3. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 59 + 4.5182
4. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 59 + 4.8260
5. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 59 + 21.2939
6. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing 59 + 23.5804
7. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 59 + 25.1856
8. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 59 + 25.4572
9. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing 59 + 25.8225
10. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing 59 + 26.0666
11. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 59 + 26.8943
12. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing 59 + 30.2993
13. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 59 + 32.0738
14. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 59 + 32.3014
15. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 59 + 32.5842
16. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 59 + 36.9982
17. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports 59 + 39.2890
18. Tony D’Alberto Ford Tony D’Alberto Racing 59 + 52.1136
19. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports 59 + 59.6247
20. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport 59 + 1:03.7718
21. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing 58 + 1 lap
22. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 58 + 1 lap
23. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing 57 + 2 laps
DNF. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash 52 Accident
DNF. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing 39 Engine
DNF. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 36 Accident
DNF. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing 29 Damage
DNF. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing 17 Collision

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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.

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