Jamie Whincup has delivered his new race engineer victory on their first outing together, taking an ultimately comfortable win in the first of Saturday’s two races at this weekend’s Clipsal 500 season opener.
The reigning champion didn’t have it all his own way, however, after getting outdragged off the grid by teammate and fellow front-row starter Craig Lowndes. But his decision to pit earlier than Lowndes ultimately paid off, the a slow tyre change for the latter’s tour through pit lane proved enough for the positions to swap.
Lowndes rejoined the race over four seconds in arrears to Whincup, but a series of quick laps saw him trim the deficit to just 0.6 seconds with less than half a dozen laps to go.
But any hopes Lowndes had of claiming victory went away when he outbraked himself at Turn 4 and slid wide; it was enough to ensure Whincup an unchallenged run to the chequered flag.
Last year’s winner Shane van Gisbergen completed the podium, unable to take advantage of bolting on four fresh tyres during his pit stop.
Mark Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly closed out the top six positions, while Scott McLaughlin gave the Volvo S60 seventh on its very first race outing.
Despite a number of incidents throughout the race, the race without any safety car interruptions.
It was a tough opener for the Ford Performance Racing stable, which saw retirements for both Chaz Mostert and David Reynolds.
Mostert suffered a power steering failure seconds after the race got underway, and the rapid loss of power steering fluid was enough to see the youngster slither into the wall at Turn 5 on the opening lap.
Reynolds was the biggest victim in the traditional opening-lap contretemps, with the Bottle-O Racing crew opting to retire his car so there would be enough time to get his car repaired in time for the day’s second 125-kilometre race.
Nick Percat and Dale Wood were the last classified finishers, with both spending a long time in the pits after collecting Michael Caruso’s Nissan.
2014 V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Adelaide – Race 1 Final Classification (39 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Holden||53:57.516|
|2.||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Holden||+ 2.777|
|3.||Shane van Gisbergen||Tekno Autosports Holden||+ 7.842|
|4.||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Performance Racing||+ 13.906|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Brad Jones Racing Holden||+ 19.237|
|6.||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 24.020|
|7.||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo Polestar Racing||+ 24.462|
|8.||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing Holden||+ 24.749|
|9.||James Courtney||TWR Holden||+ 31.172|
|10.||Scott Pye||Dick Johnson Racing Ford||+ 32.804|
|11.||Garth Tander||TWR Holden||+ 33.430|
|12.||Russell Ingall||Lucas Dumbrell Holden||+ 35.995|
|13.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport AMG||+ 36.449|
|14.||David Wall||Dick Johnson Racing Ford||+ 39.729|
|15.||Tim Slade||TWR Holden||+ 40.498|
|16.||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 43.706|
|17.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport AMG||+ 44.696|
|18.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||+ 59.082|
|19.||Jack Perkins||Ford Performance Racing||+ 59.387|
|20.||James Moffat||Nissan Motorsport||+ 1 lap|
|21.||Robert Dahlgren||Volvo Polestar Racing||+ 1 lap|
|22.||Nick Percat||TWR Holden||+ 4 laps|
|23.||Dale Wood||Brad Jones Racing Holden||+ 7 laps|
|DNF.||Chaz Mostert||Ford Performance Racing||21 laps|
|DNF.||David Reynolds||Ford Performance Racing||12 laps|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship
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