If the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship hadn’t already delivered enough emotion, then today’s second Supersprint race at Winton Raceway was guaranteed to get fans from across the spectrum very emotional.
Lee Holdsworth has given the Erebus Motorsport team its maiden podium finish and race win, securing victory with a late-race pass on pole-sitter Fabian Coulthard.
There was barely a dry eye at the Victorian circuit when an ebullient Holdsworth took the chequered flag. After a torrid debut season that ended with the loss of one of its cars and several major sponsors, the win early in its sophomore season could prove just the tonic to get the team back on track.
As was the case in today’s earlier race, tyre wear proved to be a major factor in the outcome of the race, and having shown excellent tyre management in their first hit-out, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Holdsworth’s AMG E63 Mercedes featuring at the sharp end of the field.
Even before the race got underway, there was drama for the front-row starters, Coulthard and his compatriot Scott McLaughlin. The latter had been forced to retire from the first race with an engine failure under the hood of his Volvo, leaving his crew to perform a minor miracle to get the car ready in time for Race 2.
Coulthard also had his own problems after claiming a comfortable win in Race 1. His Holden refused to fire up after a wiring loom caught fire, and this triggered a frantic replacement of the faulty loom in the pit lane. The work was performed in rapid time, allowing him to squeeze out of pit lane and onto the grid with just seconds to spare.
But Coulthard couldn’t convert pole position into the lead. McLaughlin muscled his way by at the first corner to claim P1, but his time at the front proved short-lived: the Volvo S60 was hit with an electrical problem and the young Kiwi was forced to pit.
Coulthard hung onto his lead through to the closing laps, but his hopes of claiming back-to-back wins were looking all the more unlikely as his tyres began to wear out.
Holdsworth was fast closing, and sealed the deal with three laps to run, neatly overtaking Coulthard’s gripless Commodore at Turn 3. Coulthard would lost one further spot to a rapid Mark Winterbottom.
David Reynolds and David Wall finished just off the podium in what was a good race for the Ford runners, with James Moffat, Jason Bright, Will Davison, James Courtney and Chaz Mostert completing the top-ten finishers.
One of the greatest surprises was the anonymous performance from the two Red Bull Racing Holdens. After qualifying poorly, neither Craig Lowndes nor Jamie Whincup made any impression on the midfield, finish 16th and 19th respectively.
Lowndes’ poor finish saw his championship lead trimmed to just 19 points ahead of Coulthard, with Winterbottom a further 58 points in arrears in third.
Tomorrow’s feature 200-kilometre race will be preceded by a final qualifying session on Sunday morning.
2014 V8 Supercars Winton 400 – Race 2 Results (34 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||48:27.585|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 1.487|
|3.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 3.431|
|4.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||+ 4.227|
|5.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 8.199|
|6.||James Moffat||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 15.189|
|7.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF||+ 17.383|
|8.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 21.144|
|9.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 21.640|
|10.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 34.534|
|11.||Tim Slade||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 34.752|
|12.||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 37.666|
|13.||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF||+ 38.188|
|14.||Jack Perkins||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG||+ 38.393|
|15.||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF||+ 41.380|
|16.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 42.198|
|17.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 46.771|
|18.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 49.929|
|19.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 56.868|
|20.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF||+ 1:01.153|
|21.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 1:02.227|
|22.||Russell Ingall||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF||+ 1:03.654|
|23.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 1:05.595|
|24.||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 1:31.364|
|25.||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 3 laps|