Lowndes takes V8 series lead with win in Surfers opener

Lowndes takes V8 series lead with win in Surfers opener

Supercars Championship

Lowndes takes V8 series lead with win in Surfers opener

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Craig Lowndes moved into the V8 Supercars championship lead as he and Warren Luff won a wild Surfers Paradise opener.

Lowndes’ Triple Eight team-mate Jamie Whincup was deposed from the top of the points following a disastrous day. First Whincup crashed in opening qualifying, leaving his car 25th on the grid. Then his co-driver Paul Dumbrell collided with Greg Murphy early in the race, ending their day.

Amid abundant crashes and divergent fuel strategies, the Tekno Holden of Shane van Gisbergen and Jeroen Bleekemolen led into the closing stages, but with Lowndes bearing down on them.

A quicker final splash-and-dash fuel stop by Triple Eight got Lowndes out ahead of van Gisbergen, and despite a brief attack from the Kiwi, Lowndes was able to pull clear.

Bathurst winner Mark Winterbottom brought a damaged Ford Performance Racing Falcon home third under big pressure from privateer Tony D’Alberto, having overcome a qualifying error and a drive-through penalty for his Ford’s side window coming adrift.

Winterbottom’s FPR teammate Will Davison collided with his brother Alex, who drives for the affiliated Schwerkolt team.

IndyCar and sports car racer Ryan Briscoe teamed up with V8 veteran Russell Ingall to complete the top five, the last of the cars on the lead lap.

Brad Jones Racing was among those having a miserable race. Jason Bright failed to make the start as his car could not be repaired in time, despite a huge effort, following a big Friday practice crash for co-driver Andrew Jones, while Fabian Coulthard smashed his Holden’s suspension on a curb when running third in the late stages.

Results - 102 laps:Pos  Drivers                    Team/Car                        Time/Gap 1.  Lowndes/Luff               Triple Eight Holden        2h12m10.6077s 2.  Van Gisbergen/Bleekemolen  Tekno Holden                    +8.7147s 3.  Winterbottom/Richards      FPR Ford                       +12.7185s 4.  D'Alberto/Reid             D'Alberto Holden               +13.0949s 5.  Ingall/Briscoe             Walkinshaw/HRT Holden          +18.2438s 6.  Davison/Owen               FPR Ford                       +26.1082s 7.  Wall/Pither                Britek/BJR Holden              +32.1098s 8.  Reynolds/Canto             Rod Nash/FPR Ford              +33.4826s 9.  Mostert/Wood               Dick Johnson Ford              +35.2332s10.  Webb/Lieb                  Tekno Holden                   +35.5273s11.  Kelly/Reindler             Nissan                         +35.9623s12.  Holdsworth/Baird           Erebus Mercedes                +38.1138s13.  Pye/Morris                 Dumbrell Holden                +51.9615s14.  Premat/Ritter              Garry Rogers Holden            +54.4094s15.  Slade/Brabham              Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes      +55.0207s16.  Fiore/Halliday             Dumbrell Holden                   +1 lap17.  Kelly/Russell              Nissan                            +1 lap18.  Tander/Percat              HRT Holden                       +3 laps19.  Blanchard/Walsh            Dick Johnson Ford                +5 laps20.  Davison/McIntyre           FPR Ford                         +5 laps21.  Engel/Johnson              Erebus Mercedes                  +6 laps22.  McLaughlin/Perkins         Garry Rogers Holden             +10 lapsRetirements:     Moffat/Douglas             Nissan                           97 laps     Coulthard/Youlden          Brad Jones Holden                83 laps     Caruso/Gaunt               Nissan                           60 laps     Dumbrell/Whincup           Triple Eight Holden              21 laps     Courtney/Murphy            HRT Holden                       18 laps

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