Jamie Whincup claimed his first race win of the 2019 Supercars Championship season with the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver putting in a clinical drive in the opening race of the Ipswich SuperSprint.
The series’ most successful driver started alongside pole-sitter and championship leader Scott McLaughlin – who gave DJR Team Penske its 100th pole position – on the front row and outmuscled the New Zealander through the opening sequence of corners to take the race lead.
In a frenetic opening few laps of the race, McLaughlin saw himself demoted to third behind the Tickford Racing run Ford Mustang of Will Davison, while Whincup pulled away to an early lead.
Unable to find a way by Davison, McLaughlin opted for an early pit stop, making his compulsory tour through the pit lane at the end of the tenth lap in a bid to secure an undercut over his rivals. A problem changing the left-front wheel undid any potential benefit of this decision.
Having built a lead of over four seconds to Davison, Whincup opted to make his pit stop at the end of Lap 15 and kept the effective race lead with a margin of over six seconds to the chasing McLaughlin. Davison stayed out until the end of Lap 19, but his long opening stint meant he lost ground and was jumped by McLaughlin.
McLaughlin was briefly able to claw back some of the deficit to Whincup, closing to within five seconds of the Holden driver. With 13 laps to go, however, his tyres began to fade and he dropped back, which allowed Davison to slip through into second place. His Tickford Racing stablemate Chaz Mostert quickly followed suit, demoting McLaughlin to fourth place on the next lap.
Davison’s better tyre condition saw him eat into Whincup’s lead as the laps wore down, but the multiple champion had it under control and crossed the finish line with a 2.1-second buffer.
Davison crossed the line in second place, earning his first podium visit in over three years and the first for the increasingly competitive 23Red Racing entry. Mostert finished in third place to complete the podium in what was a strong race for the four-car Tickford Racing stable, with Cameron Waters and Lee Holdsworth finishing in sixth and seventh respectively.
Sandwiched between the Tickford runners was McLaughlin and Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen. Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) finished in eighth ahead of David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport), while McLaughlin’s teammate and closest championship rival Fabian Coulthard had an incident-filled race en route to tenth.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint – Race 19 Final Classification (39 laps)|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing||46:37.911|
|2.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||+ 2.180|
|3.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 6.053|
|4.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 8.732|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 9.700|
|6.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 20.829|
|7.||Lee Holdsworth||The Bottle-O Racing||+ 23.156|
|8.||Nick Percat||Dunlop Racing||+ 25.467|
|9.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 35.642|
|10.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 36.502|
|11.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 37.838|
|12.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||+ 40.155|
|13.||James Golding||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 40.746|
|14.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 42.658|
|15.||Mark Winterbottom||Irwin Racing||+ 44.189|
|16.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 44.976|
|17.||Michael Caruso||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 45.976|
|18.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||+ 46.322|
|19.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||+ 53.030|
|20.||Garry Jacobson||RABBLE.club Racing||+ 1:01.002|
|21.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||1 lap behind|
|22.||Jack Le Brocq||Truck Assist TEKNO||1 lap behind|
|DNF.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||Fuel|
|DNF.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||Retired|
- Todd Hazelwood – who was provisionally classified P12 – was issued a 15-second post-race time penalty for causing avoidable contact with Anto de Pasquale.
Image via Red Bull Holden Racing Team
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