Tander wins Phillip Island Race 1, Whincup reclaims V8 lead

Tander wins Phillip Island Race 1, Whincup reclaims V8 lead

Supercars Championship

Tander wins Phillip Island Race 1, Whincup reclaims V8 lead

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Garth Tander took victory in a dramatic first V8 Supercars race at Phillip Island, while Jamie Whincup reclaimed his position at the top of the points standings.

HRT Holden driver Tander maintained his third place starting position through the first segment of the race before reaping the rewards of a coming together between title contenders Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom before the half-time interval.

Lowndes had beaten poleman Winterbottom into Turn 1 after the lights went out, but the FPR Ford racer was relentless in his pursuit of his title rival.

On the last lap before the interval, Winterbottom appeared to have finally found a way past the Triple Eight Holden before the two were embroiled in a pushing contest into the final corner, sending Lowndes into the gravel and down to 14th. Tander, meanwhile, took avoiding action and nipped by to take the lead, which he held on to until the checkered flag after an imperious drive in the second-half of the race.

Fabian Coulthard took second having made up four places from the grid and eventually got past race-long rival Alex Davison on the penultimate lap.

Whincup was within sniffing distance of a podium finish after making the best of a disastrous qualifying performance. The Triple Eight driver began the race in 13th following a small mistake at Turn 2 in qualifying, which cost him a likely front row start. He made up four places on the first lap and gained further positions after Shane van Gisbergen’s altercations with Chaz Mostert and Will Davison in quick succession on the seventh lap.

Starting sixth for the second portion of the race, Whincup quickly passed van Gisbergen once again and pulled off an opportunistic move on Winterbottom on the final lap to claim fourth and returned to the top of the championship.

Fifth went to Blanchard who also disposed of van Gisbergen in the latter stages, while former championship leader Lowndes finished eighth, having edged Mostert to the finish line.

The race also featured a hefty incident involving Alexandre Premat and James Courtney, who were fighting for sixth place at the time.

Premat ran wide coming out of Turn 10 on lap 10 and was unable to stop his GRM Holden from taking a trip across the grass and into the side of an unsuspecting Courtney, whose car came off the worst.

The HRT Holden driver received extensive medical checks which revealed he had not broken any bones, but he had suffered soft-tissue damage and is due to go under further observations.

                                                                    Results - 28 laps:                                                                                                                      Pos  Driver               Team                           Time/Gap    1.  Garth Tander         HRT Holden                 1h16m53.796s    2.  Fabian Coulthard     Brad Jones Holden               +3.087s    3.  Alex Davison         Schwerkolt/FPR Ford             +4.276s    4.  Jamie Whincup        Triple 8 Holden                 +4.811s    5.  Mark Winterbottom    FPR Ford                        +5.080s    6.  Tim Blanchard        Dick Johnson Ford               +6.042s    7.  Shane van Gisbergen  Tekno Holden                    +6.748s    8.  Craig Lowndes        Triple 8 Holden                 +6.972s    9.  Chaz Mostert         Dick Johnson Ford               +6.975s   10.  Michael Caruso       Nissan                          +8.658s   11.  David Wall           Britek/BJR Holden               +9.387s   12.  Tony D'Alberto       D'Alberto Holden               +10.673s   13.  Russell Ingall       Walkinshaw/HRT Holden          +11.145s   14.  Lee Holdsworth       Erebus Mercedes                +11.398s   15.  Scott Pye            Dumbrell Holden                +11.969s   16.  Todd Kelly           Nissan                         +13.018s   17.  Will Davison         FPR Ford                       +13.380s   18.  Jonathon Webb        Tekno Holden                   +14.880s   19.  Scott McLaughlin     GRM Holden                     +15.726s   20.  Rick Kelly           Nissan                         +16.236s   21.  Maro Engel           Erebus Mercedes                +16.945s   22.  David Reynolds       Rod Nash/FPR Ford              +30.674s   23.  Dean Fiore           Dumbrell Holden                +37.073s   24.  Jason Bright         Brad Jones Holden                +1 lap   25.  Tim Slade            Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes       +2 laps                                                                       Retirements:                                                                                                                          James Courtney       HRT Holden                      10 laps        Alexandre Premat     GRM Holden                      10 laps        James Moffat         Nissan                           6 laps

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