Red Bull Racing duo Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes claimed back-to-back 1-2 finishes to close out today’s pair of Sprint Races at Queensland Raceway, although the second of these was very much a lucky break. Battling for the race lead, Michael Caruso ended his and Scott McLaughlin’s victory ambitions when the pair tangled.
The start of the race saw McLaughlin and Caruso lead the chasing field from the front row. The pair went toe to toe through the opening pair of right-hand sweepers, but McLaughlin held out and used his Volvo’s early speed to quickly build a lead.
Whincup slotted into third place, resuming the battle with teammate Craig Lowndes. That allowed McLaughlin and Caruso to pull away to the tune of two-tenths of a second per lap.
The top four ran in the same order by mid-distance, but there was some movement further back: championship leader Mark Winterbottom was having to recover from another poor qualifying performance and had worked his way into the top-ten with a neat move on Fabian Coulthard’s Holden.
The second half of the race saw Caruso start to peg and then reduce McLaughlin’s lead, and before long the pair were running nose-to-tail. McLaughlin was placing his car perfectly in defence; not being too aggressive, but letting Caruso know that he’d have to work to get by. All the while, however, Whincup and Lowndes were also beginning to close on the battling pair.
Victory for Caruso – which would end a 150-plus race winless streak – was there for the taking, if the could pull a clean move off. That wasn’t to be, however, as he left his braking too late at Turn 6 and tipped a hapless McLaughlin into a spin.
Caruso was immediately hit with a drive-through penalty that dropped him to the tail of the field, leaving Whincup and Lowndes to cruise to an easy 1-2.
Last year’s race winner Chaz Mostert had worked his way into third place and final podium spot ahead of Shane van Gisbergen, with Rick Kelly, Winterbottom, Nick Percat, Garth Tander, Fabian Coulthard and James Courtney completing the top ten.
2014 V8 Supercars Ipswich 400 – Race 24 Results (33 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||39:06.377|
|2.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 0.508|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 12.252|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF||+ 18.179|
|5.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 20.122|
|6.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 20.226|
|7.||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF||+ 20.687|
|8.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 21.053|
|9.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 21.840|
|10.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 23.322|
|11.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF||+ 23.650|
|12.||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 24.075|
|13.||James Moffat||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 24.458|
|14.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 26.540|
|15.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||+ 27.996|
|16.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 28.751|
|17.||Tim Slade||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 29.383|
|18.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 30.128|
|19.||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 31.807|
|20.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 32.059|
|21.||Russell Ingall||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF||+ 32.449|
|22.||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 34.187|
|23.||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF||+ 34.691|
|24.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 37.186|
|25.||Jack Perkins||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG||+ 40.383|
Images via Christian Hartung and V8 Supercars Championship Media