Defending V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has claimed victory in Sunday’s feature race of the Tasmania SuperSprint round at Symmons Plains Raceway and assumed the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The Red Bull Racing driver was handed the win after teammate and pole-winner Craig Lowndes was issued a drive-through penalty for a first-lap collision.
A slightly sluggish getaway was enough for Lowndes’ fellow front-row starter, David Reynolds, to get the jump on the veteran into Turn 1. The pair ran side-by-side for the Turn 2 left-hander, and as Reynolds turned for the apex, the two made contact. Reynolds was turfed into a spin and rejoined at the rear of the field, while Lowndes was quickly an rightly issued his penalty.
The luckless Will Davison was also caught out in the incident and had to make a lengthy visit to the pits while his Erebus Motorsport mechanics fixed the damage to his Mercedes’ steering.
Lowndes’ penalty gave Whincup an unchallenged run to the finish of the 84-lap race. Prodrive Racing Australia driver Chaz Mostert finished second and Tekno Autosports driver Shane van Gisbergen rounded out the podium finishers.
Van Gisbergen saw his position challenged in the final laps by HRT driver Garth Tander, but the former champion was unable to find a way past the New Zealander and had to settle for fourth place.
Mark Winterbottom made up a few places to finish fifth in the second Prodrive Racing Ford, while Lowndes put in a tremendous recovery drive and finished sixth ahead of Scott McLaughlin’s Volvo.
Rookie driver Andre Heimgartner converted his outstanding qualifying run to finish eighth for Super Black Racing; fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard finished ninth and former championship leader James Courtney crossed the finish line in tenth place.
Courtney’s Walkinshaw Racing stablemate Tim Slade was on course to claim tenth until he was forced to pit for fuel in the dying stages of the race, however, he was unable to exit the pits in time before Whincup took the chequered flag and was classed as a non-finisher.
Excluding Slade, the race saw one genuine retiree, with David Wall having to park the second Volvo with an engine failure.
The V8 Supercars Championship now takes a month break before heading to Barbagallo in Western Australia on May 1-3.
|2015 V8 Supercars Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprint – Race 6 (84 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||1:15:21.018|
|2.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 3.495|
|3.||Shane van Gisbergen||Team Darrell Lea STIX||+ 15.363|
|4.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||+ 15.977|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||+ 24.456|
|6.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||+ 26.920|
|7.||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||+ 28.037|
|8.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 31.493|
|9.||Fabian Coulthard||Freightliner Racing||+ 32.211|
|10.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||+ 40.406|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship