James Courtney has taken his first V8 Supercars race win in over two years, taking victory from pole position in today’s final 100-kilometre race at Winton Raceway. He is now the twelfth different race-winner in the 27 races held to-date this year.
The Holden Racing Team driver led the field away from pole position, easing away to form a comfortable gap ahead of Chaz Mostert, who was involved in a tense scrap to defend his position from Will Davison.
There was action right at the start when Todd Kelly was tipped into a spin into the infield barriers as the field took off from the grid. Series leader Jamie Whincup was the culprit, and this prompted what would be the first of three safety car interruptions during the race.
There was more drama before the field had caught the safety car at the end of the opening lap. Rookie driver Scott Pye had copped a whack in the exhaust of his Holden and was heading into the pits to have the damage inspected, but he didn’t get that far when the back of his car burst into flames. The youngster was able to bring his car to a stop at the entry to pit lane and emerged from the car without injury while the track marshals put out the mess.
The race continued without major incident until the final dozen laps. Race 2 winner Mark Winterbottom – who had qualified badly for this race – was not making much progress through the field, and after several laps pinned behind Rick Kelly, the made a lunge up the inside of the Nissan driver at Turn 3.
The pair ran side-by-side through the next corner, leaving Kelly holding the inside line on the approach to the Turn 5 left-hander. But the Nissan driver appeared to squeeze Winterbottom over to the right, and the pair touched, with the contact breaking Kelly’s right-rear suspension and firing him into the circuit’s infield.
The safety car was brought out once again, prompting those running outside the top-dozen runners to pit for fresh tyres, leaving those in the front half of the field potentially vulnerable as they stayed out on older rubber.
The safety car was brought out almost as soon as it had peeled back into the pits, with Jason Bright doing the honours after getting himself buried axle-deep in the muddy circuit infield.
That gave the freshly-shod runners an even better shot at making their way to the front of the pack. Fabian Coulthard and Garth Tander were two of the biggest beneficiaries, with Coulthard climbing to second place, grabbing the spot from Mostert just a few corners from the chequered flag, with a jubilated Courtney crossing the finish line three seconds up the road.
Mostert finished third ahead of Tander and Shane van Gisbergen, while Will Davison claimed sixth place, consolidating his championship tilt while fellow title rivals Winterbottom, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup finishing further down the order.
2013 V8 Supercars Winton 360 – Race 3 Final Classification (34 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / TWR||55:19.837|
|2.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 2.951|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 4.539|
|4.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 4.707|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports||+ 4.968|
|6.||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 6.066|
|7.||David Reynolds||Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 6.601|
|8.||James Moffat||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 7.045|
|9.||Tim Blanchard||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 8.705|
|10.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 13.817|
|11.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 14.194|
|12.||Alex Davison||Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 14.564|
|13.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 14.709|
|14.||Scott McLaughlin||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 14.893|
|15.||Tim Slade||Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 15.119|
|16.||Dean Fiore||Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 15.529|
|17.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 15.708|
|18.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 15.929|
|19.||Maro Engel||SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 16.626|
|20.||Lee Holdsworth||IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 19.052|
|21.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||+ 24.160|
|22.||Jonathon Webb||Darrell Lea Racing / Tekno Autosports||+ 42.786|
|DNF.||Michael Caruso||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||33 laps|
|DNF.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||25 laps|
|DNF.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||21 laps|
|DNF.||Scott Pye||EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||0 laps|
|DNF.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||0 laps|
|DNS.||Russell Ingall||SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR|