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