Craig Lowndes has finally kickstarted his account of wins for the 2012 V8 Supercars championship season, with the TeamVodafone Holden driver narrowly holding out team-mate and defending champion Jamie Whincup in today’s closing race of the SkyCity Triple Crown at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway.
Today’s 200-kilometre, 69-lap race was again run in baking conditions, and teams’ strategy options were left wide open when the race was interrupted by an early safety car period.
In the end, the honours for the race came down to a three-way stoush between Lowndes, Whincup and Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom. Third-placed Lowndes got by Winterbottom, and then overtook team-mate Whincup with just three laps to go.
Having made his tyre change earlier than his Holden rivals, Winterbottom faded away from the lead battle and just managed to hang on to finish on the final podium spot, denying GRM Holden driver Michael Caruso his first top-three result of the season after an impressive display.
Fabian Coulthard finished in fifth place, while outgoing points’ leader Will Davison finished sixth, losing time after queuing behind team-mate Winterbottom when the pair pitted on the same lap when the safety car had been deployed.
2012 V8 Supercars SkyCity Triple Crown Darwin – Race 1 Result (69 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Laps||Result|
|1.||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||69||1:29:04.4833|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||69||+ 0.9377|
|3.||Mark Winterbottom||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||69||+ 16.2887|
|4.||Michael Caruso||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||69||+ 16.7152|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||69||+ 21.6881|
|6.||Will Davison||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||69||+ 27.9640|
|7.||Shane van Gisbergen||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||69||+ 31.3922|
|8.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||69||+ 36.1837|
|9.||Garth Tander||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||69||+ 47.8074|
|10.||Tim Slade||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||69||+ 52.2200|
|11.||James Courtney||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||69||+ 54.2307|
|12.||Lee Holdsworth||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||69||+ 56.2878|
|13.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||69||+ 57.0151|
|14.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||69||+ 58.0180|
|15.||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||69||+ 1:02.9936|
|16.||Taz Douglas||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||69||+ 1:09.0984|
|17.||Dean Fiore||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||69||+ 1:13.6966|
|18.||Michael Patrizi||Tekno Autosports||69||+ 1:19.1132|
|19.||Steven Johnson||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||68||+ 1 lap|
|20.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||68||+ 1 lap|
|21.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||68||+ 1 lap|
|22.||Steve Owen||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||67||+ 2 laps|
|23.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||67||+ 2 laps|
|DNF.||Karl Reindler||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||45||45 laps|
|DNF.||James Moffat||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||44||44 laps|
|DNF.||David Wall||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||13||13 laps|
|DNF.||David Russell||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||7||7 laps|
|DNF.||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||0||0 laps|
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