While both celebrated victory during last weekend’s season-opening Clipsal 500 races, James Courtney and Jamie Whincup were both slapped with 25-point penalties after being found guilty of careless driving in Races 2 and 3 respectively.

Having claimed victory and a third place in Saturday’s two races, Whincup looked set to win Sunday’s 250-kilometre feature race until he was hit with a pit lane drive-through penalty after his car controller had touched the car during his final pit stop.

The breach broke the rule governing the number of team personnel who can service a car during a pit stop, and – despite vocal protests from the Red Bull Racing team – he was hauled into the pit lane for a drive-through penalty, dropping him well down the order.

While trying to recover lost ground, Whincup collided with Michael Caruso’s Nissan at the Turn 9 hairpin, which resulted in race-ending suspension damage for both. That later led to a visit to the stewards’ office, where newly-appointed Driving Standards Observer Jason Bargwanna decided that a 25-point deduction to Whincup’s championship tally was appropriate.

Courtney was the beneficiary from Whincup’s penalty and ultimately went on to win Race 3, but he was also deducted 25 points from his championship tally following an incident in Saturday’s second race.

Courtney lost his left passenger door and 25 championship pointsCourtney tried a rather ambitious passing move on both Lee Holdsworth’s Erebus AMG and Scott Pye’s Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon at Turn 3.

But his attempts to squeeze between the pair resulted in rather predictable contact for both, with Courtney coming off worse after his passenger door was ripped off his HRT Holden.

Courtney’s Walkinshaw Racing stablemate Nick Percat was also hit with a 25-point penalty for colliding with Michael Caruso in Race 1.

The points deductions for both Whincup and Courtney saw them drop positions in the current Drivers’ Championship standings, with Courtney dropping from fourth to fifth overall, while Whincup dropped two spots and now lies seventh.

Whincup’s teammate Craig Lowndes – who claimed one win and two second-placed finishes over the weekend – leads the Drivers’ Championship standings on 282 points, 52 points clear of Brad Jones Racing’s Fabian Coulthard.

The current (adjusted) championship standings are as follows:

  Driver   Team / Entry   Points
1. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 282
2. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing Holden 230
3. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Autosports Holden 221
4. Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport 198
5. James Courtney TWR Holden 192
6. Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing 189
7. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 174
8. Tim Slade TWR Holden 163
9. Garth Tander TWR Holden 150
10. James Moffat Nissan Motorsport 140
11. Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport 133
12. Russell Ingall Lucas Dumbrell Holden 121
13. David Wall Dick Johnson Racing Ford 121
14. David Reynolds Ford Performance Racing 120
15. Scott McLaughlin Volvo Polestar Racing 117
16. Jack Perkins Ford Performance Racing 115
17. Dale Wood Brad Jones Racing Holden 112
18. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport AMG 111
19. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport AMG 72
20. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport 70
21. Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing Holden 66
22. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Racing Ford 61
23. Chaz Mostert Ford Performance Racing 51
24. Robert Dahlgren Volvo Polestar Racing 39
25. Nick Percat TWR Holden 24

Images via Holden Racing Team and Red Bull Racing Australia

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Two-time Young Australian of the Year finalist, qualified mechanical engineer, social advocate, author and 'petrol head'

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