Fabian Coulthard has claimed a dominant win in today’s opening V8 Supercars Championship race at Winton, while behind him chaos reigned as the race was interrupted by three separate Safety Car periods.
The New Zealander led his compatriot and fellow front-row start Shane van Gisbergen all race to win with a margin of five seconds, while Coulthard’s teammate Dale Wood claimed his first career podium with third place. In an outstanding race for the Brad Joned Racing team, their stablemate Jason Bright finished fourth.
Aside from Robert Dahlgren’s failure to take the start – courtesy of a broken rear axle on his Volvo – the opening half of the race proved to be rather processional, until the second Volvo of Scott McLaughlin expired with an engine failure.
The stricken S60 triggered the race’s first Safety Car, and in the spirit of the old adage that one safety car tends to trigger more, that’s exactly what happened at the first restart.
Chaz Mostert made a mistake at Turn 1, triggering a multi-car accident that took out both James Courtney and Tim Slade. Further along the lap, David Reynolds and Nick Percat made contact, spinning the former down the order and leaving the latter stranded against the wall and needing assistance from the marshals to get going again.
A third full-course caution came after Todd Kelly had to retire his Nissan Altima with an engine problem.
Before all of this came a masterful strategy call from series veteran Russell Ingall. The Holden driver had qualified last after mechanical dramas and was running towards the back of the pack, but took the call of a visit to the pits during the first Safety Car intervention.
Armed with fresh rubber, the former champion carved his way through the field after each restart and was up to third with three laps to run. A potential podium finish went begging, however, when he was hauled into the pits to serve a drive-through penalty for making contact with Wall while trying to overtake him a few laps earlier. A furious Ingall rejoined fifteenth and climbed back up to tenth by the chequered flag, and a post-race slandering of the stewards’ decision will almost certainly see him facing further sanctions.
Behind the leading quartet, Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison showcased their Erebus AMGs’ great tyre management by finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Mark Winterbottom finished seventh – despite a tour through pit lane after a puncture – while championship leader Craig Lowndes faded to eighth as his tyres went off.
Race 2 – also run over 34 laps – gets underway at 4:25pm local time (GMT +11).
2014 V8 Supercars Winton 400 – Race 1 Results (34 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF||53:03.968|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF||+ 5.019|
|3.||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF||+ 10.924|
|4.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF||+ 13.748|
|5.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 14.245|
|6.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 17.085|
|7.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 19.558|
|8.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 23.750|
|9.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 25.740|
|10.||Russell Ingall||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF||+ 29.467|
|11.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||+ 34.047|
|12.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 35.510|
|13.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 35.993|
|14.||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 38.665|
|15.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 40.813|
|16.||Jack Perkins||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG||+ 41.228|
|17.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 41.478|
|18.||James Moffat||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 42.364|
|19.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 43.556|
|20.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 50.960|
|21.||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF||+ 3 laps|
|DNF.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||17 laps|
|DNF.||Tim Slade||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF||15 laps|
|DNF.||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||6 laps|
|DNS.||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media