Fresh from his win earlier in the day, Will Davison has ensured a Ford Performance Racing clean sweep at Barbagallo Raceway by claiming a thrilling win in the third and final race of the Trading Post Challenge.
The outcome of the race ultimately hinged on an early safety car period that placed major strain on most teams’ strategies, particularly those who had opted to start the race on the hard Dunlop tyre and needed to make the switch to the softer compound rubber during the race.
Those who had started the race on the softer tyres were in the pound seats, gaining early ground on their harder-shod rivals and were then best placed to make use of the safety car, which was brought out on Lap 14 following a collision between Taz Douglas and Tony D’Alberto.
Before this, pole-sitter Jamie Whincup had established an early lead in his TeamVodafone Commodore, running comfortably ahead of fellow soft-tyre runner Winterbottom. The biggest mover in the field was Jason Bright, who rocketed up the order in his Team BOC Commodore to third place, having started in 16th spot.
With the entire field peeling into the pits during the safety car, racing would eventually resume with that top three leading the field at the restart, but now shod on harder tyres and with a chasing softer-shod pack snapping at their heels.
At the front of that queue of soft-tyre runners was Davison and local driver Michael Patrizi, who had climbed up from 11th place in his Tekno Commodore.
It wouldn’t take long for that pair to work their way to the front of the field ahead of Whincup and Winterbottom, while Bright started to be overtaken by other soft-tyre runners further back.
Ultimately, a 33-lap stint on the softer tyres would prove too much for most, and the pendulum then swung back into the hands of Whincup, Winterbottom and Bright, who started to work their way forward again.
Whincup and Winterbottom got by Patrizi and had just six laps of the race to close down and overhaul Davison.
On the final lap and at the final corner, Whincup made one last try, but was outfoxed by Winterbottom, who snuck underneath him to snatch second place – the trio crossed the line covered by less than a second, while a fast-closing Bright finished fourth, less than two seconds behind an ecstatic Davison.
Patrizi hung on to finish a career-best fifth in an outstanding drive, while Craig Lowndes staged an impressive recovery drive – having been badly caught out in the pit stops – to finish sixth.
2012 V8 Supercars Trading Post Perth Challenge – Race 3 Result (50 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Laps||Result|
|1.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||50||50:38.3093|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||50||+ 0.4947|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||50||+ 0.5534|
|4.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||50||+ 1.9464|
|5.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||50||+ 5.4920|
|6.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||50||+ 14.4271|
|7.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||50||+ 17.2996|
|8.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||50||+ 17.4375|
|9.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||50||+ 21.0205|
|10.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||50||+ 21.4483|
|11.||Greg Murphy||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||50||+ 22.6970|
|12.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||50||+ 25.9236|
|13.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||50||+ 26.7369|
|14.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||50||+ 31.2808|
|15.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||50||+ 31.6787|
|16.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||50||+ 35.9661|
|17.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||50||+ 36.2146|
|18.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||50||+ 41.0404|
|19.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||50||+ 41.3609|
|20.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||50||+ 43.1531|
|21.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||50||+ 45.9684|
|22.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||50||+ 49.1682|
|23.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||50||+ 59.2442|
|24.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||49||+ 1 lap|
|25.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||47||+ 3 laps|
|26.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||45||+ 5 laps|
|DNF.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||46||46 laps|
|DNF.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||14||14 laps|