Mark Winterbottom has won the opening race of the Trading Post Perth Challenge

Mark Winterbottom has followed on from his race win a fortnight ago at Hamilton to claim victory in the opening V8 Supercars race at the Trading Post Perth Challenge at Barbagallo Raceway.

And while Winterbottom’s fortunes continued the dominant run shown by Ford Performance Racing since the start of the season, the same could not be said for team-mate Will Davison, who was an innocent victim in a first-lap accident.

‘Frosty’ had his own problems to overcome before the start of the 50-lap race, not least of which was being hit by pole-sitter Garth Tander when the Holden driver took up his position on the dummy grid.

The contact mangled Winterbottom’s door, leaving his mechanics scrambling to fit a replacement in the minutes before the race would get underway.

Perhaps not satisfied with the repairs on Winterbottom’s door, Tander seemed intent on having another go on the opening lap of the race. Having lost the lead at the start of the race to fellow front-row starter Jason Bright, Tander found himself bumped to third place by Jamie Whincup further around the lap.

Tander and Davison come togetherAs the pack hurtled down the track’s longest straight, Winterbottom took the inside line to claim third from Tander, only for the hometown driver to engage in a bit of spirited wheel-banging with Winterbottom as he tried to defend his position.

Winterbottom would slip through to claim third as they braked for the final corner, but a too-opportunistic David Reynolds tried to profit on the move and get by as well, only to succeed in tipping Tander into a spin.

In the melee, Davison was also tapped at the rear and sent into a collision with Tander’s car. The contact put Tander out on the spot, while Davison had to limp around for another lap to have his broken suspension tended to. He would eventually rejoin the race, finishing nine laps behind.

Tander’s stricken car prompted the first of two safety car interruptions in the race, with the second coming almost immediately after the race was restarted when James Moffat was tipped into the gravel by Dick Johnson Racing team-mate Dean Fiore.

When the racing did get underway, Bright’s lead would last until Lap 13 before Whincup slipped by to claim the lead. Unable to maintain quite the pace of the frontrunners, Bright started to steadily drop down the order, allowing Winterbottom into second place.

With rain-heavy clouds overhead and assuming the race remained dry enough for click tyres, the field was obliged to use both Dunlop’s hard and soft tyre compounds in the race.

Most of the field opted to start on the quicker, softer rubber, believing that a predicted shower would warrant a switch to wet-weather tyres later in the race.

Others, including Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes (starting from a lowly 16th) opted to start on the harder tyre, relying on a late run on the softer tyre – which would cope better if the track temperatures cooled – to get them up the order.

Incredibly, Winterbottom was able to run at the same pace as Whincup in the opening stint, pitting two laps later than the defending champion and emerging in a lead he would never surrender.

Whincup’s run to second place ensured that he would resume the championship points lead from the troubled Davison, while the podium was completed by Lowndes, who staged an impressive climb to finish third, holding off a train of cars in the closing laps.

The top ten was completed by Lee Holdsworth, James Courtney, Tim Slade, a misfiring Shane van Gisbergen, followed by Michael Caruso, Rick Kelly and Bright.

Tomorrow’s action sees two more 50-lap races around the 2.4-kilometre circuit, preceded by separate twenty-minute qualifying sessions.

2012 V8 Supercars Trading Post Perth Challenge – Race 1 Result (50 laps):

Driver Entry / Team Laps Result
1. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing 50 52:48.8024
2. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 50 + 3.2861
3. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 50 + 21.2797
4. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 50 + 21.6093
5. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 50 + 22.0586
6. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 50 + 22.2656
7. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 50 + 22.6870
8. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 50 + 22.9296
9. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 50 + 23.4377
10. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing 50 + 24.5348
11. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing 50 + 26.5728
12. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing 50 + 27.0280
13. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash 50 + 28.0541
14. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports 50 + 30.3739
15. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing 50 + 34.4275
16. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 50 + 34.5770
17. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 50 + 36.2181
18. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports 50 + 37.7487
19. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 50 + 42.9124
20. Tony D’Alberto Ford HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing 50 + 42.9498
21. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 50 + 44.1316
22. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing 50 + 46.6427
23. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing 49 + 1 lap
24. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport 49 + 1 lap
25. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing 41 + 9 laps
DNF. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing 26 Engine
DNF. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing 7 Spin
DNF. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 0 Collision

A double-billing of F1 and V8s at Abu Dhabi!

The following two tabs change content below.

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.