Jamie Whincup has returned to the narrowest of leads in the V8 Supercars Drivers' Championship

Jamie Whincup has ensured his surrendering of the championship lead to Mark Winterbottom would be shortlived; the TeamVodafone driver moved straight back to the top of the points table – by a solitary point! – with a win in today’s closing race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Determined to show that yesterday’s 23rd-placed result in Race 1 was no more than a blip in his charge to another championship title, Whincup made an excellent getaway from the front row to take an early lead ahead of pole-sitting team-mate Craig Lowndes.

Race 2 gets underway and Whincup gets the jump on team-mate Lowndes off the lineWhincup would ultimately control much of the race, but the attention in the early laps went to the grid’s most senior driver, Russell Ingall, who staged an early climb through the field after electing to start the race on the softer Dunlop tyres.

With the extra grip at his disposal, Ingall carved his way up the order and took the lead within the first half-dozen laps.

While Whincup and Lowndes both opted for early tyre changes – the latter being delayed by a wheelgun failure – Ingall’s eventual pit-lane visit saw him lose ground to the leaders as he rejoined in an effective fourth position.

Despite his alternate strategy, the veteran had more than enough pace to keep up, and finished a widely-applauded fourth place, splitting the two works Ford Performance Racing entries of Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison, who finished third and fifth respectively.

Lowndes managed to fight his way past Winterbottom (who managed to get ahead in the first round of stops, courtesy of Lowndes’ delays in pit lane) with a neat passing move during the race, but he was unable to eat into the lead that Whincup had managed to build, with the pair crossing the finish line 11.4 seconds apart.

The result was enough for Whincup to resume as the leader of the Drivers’ Championship ahead of the three all-important endurance events at Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers Paradise – all of which will be pivotal in deciding the outcome of this year’s exciting championship fight.

2012 V8 Supercars Sydney Motorsport Park 360 – Race 1 Result (36 laps):

Driver Entry / Team Laps Result
1. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 56 1:27:43.9474
2. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing 56 + 11.4428
3. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing 56 + 13.5576
4. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing 56 + 16.8914
5. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing 56 + 24.0360
6. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing 56 + 24.8936
7. David Reynolds Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash 56 + 27.6256
8. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing 56 + 28.0186
9. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 56 + 29.3981
10. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team 56 + 45.7355
11. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 56 + 57.3211
12. Michael Patrizi Holden Tekno Autosports 56 + 1:01.8506
13. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 56 + 1:04.3232
14. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 56 + 1:06.4958
15. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 56 + 1:14.9605
16. James Moffat Ford Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing 56 + 1:17.3307
17. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports 56 + 1:17.5126
18. Dean Fiore Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 56 + 1:25.4713
19. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing 56 + 1:28.2121
20. Tony D’Alberto Ford HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing 56 + 1:28.2403
21. Lee Holdsworth Ford Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing 55 1 lap behind
22. Steve Owen Ford VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing 55 1 lap behind
23. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 55 1 lap behind
24. Taz Douglas Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport 55 1 lap behind
25. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing 55 1 lap behind
26. Jacques Villeneuve Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing 55 1 lap behind
27. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport 55 1 lap behind
28. David Wall Holden Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing 52 4 laps behind

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

Our regular V8 Supercars contributor, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, is currently on holidays.

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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.