Craig Lowndes has trimmed teammate Jamie Whincup’s championship lead to just six points after claiming victory in Sunday’s opening race at Phillip Island.
The Red Bull Australia recovered from an early mistake in the race and took full advantage of a safety car interruption to overtake race leader Whincup after the restart.
After a troubled outing in Saturday’s Supersprint race, Lowndes lined up eighth for today’s opening 100-kilometre race, while Whincup started from the second row behind the Brad Jones Racing pairing of Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright.
Coulthard and Bright both made poor getaways at the start, while Whincup was able to thread his way into the lead, with a fast-starting Lowndes hot on his heels at the end of a wild opening lap.
But Lowndes had to fight his way back up a few places again after a mistake saw him run wide while battling with Chaz Mostert.
Lowndes quickly managed to repass Coulthard, Shane van Gisbergen and Mostert, but his earlier mistake had meant Whincup was out of reach in the lead.
But that all changed when the safety car was called so marshals could safely retrieve Michael Caruso’s Nissan, which had retired with a misfire.
With the field compressed, Lowndes took full advantage of the restart to overtake Whincup for the lead at the Turn 4 hairpin, pulling clear of his teammate in the closing laps to claim a record-equalling ninth race win at Phillip Island.
Van Gisbergen managed to overhaul Mostert to round out the final spot on the podium, leading a long train comprising Coulthard, Alex Davison, Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison.
Winterbottom had lost ground in a wild rush to Turn 1, getting bundled off the racing line in a five-wide jostle for position. A seventh-placed finish put him over 100 points adrift of the leading Red Bull Racing teammates at the head of the Drivers’ Championship fight, and he’ll need to claim maximum points in today’s second race if he wants to keep his title hopes alive heading into next fornight’s Sydney finale.
2013 V8 Supercars Phillip Island 360 – Race 2 Final Classification (23 laps):
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result|
|1.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||38:02.553|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering||+ 3.554|
|3.||Shane van Gisbergen||VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports||+ 8.819|
|4.||Chaz Mostert||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 8.540|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 9.079|
|6.||Alex Davison||Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 9.258|
|7.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 9.805|
|8.||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing||+ 10.037|
|9.||David Reynolds||Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing||+ 12.151|
|10.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / TWR||+ 12.339|
|11.||Scott Pye||EKOL Racing / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 13.339|
|12.||Tim Blanchard||Wilson Security Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||+ 13.628|
|13.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 14.080|
|14.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing||+ 14.474|
|15.||Russell Ingall||SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR||+ 16.355|
|16.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 16.793|
|17.||Lee Holdsworth||IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 17.206|
|18.||Jonathon Webb||Darrell Lea Racing / Tekno Autosports||+ 17.507|
|19.||Scott McLaughlin||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||+ 17.751|
|20.||Dean Fiore||Dodo Insurance / Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||+ 18.201|
|21.||James Moffat||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||+ 19.222|
|22.||Maro Engel||SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 20.708|
|23.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||+ 24.391|
|24.||Tim Slade||Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport||+ 1:05.010|
|DNF.||Tony D’Alberto||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||16 laps|
|DNF.||Michael Caruso||Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport||12 laps|
|WD.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / TWR||Withdrawn|
|WD.||Alexandre Prémat||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||Withdrawn|