V8 Supercars’ second Homebush race was halted early by a massive downpour over the Sydney street track, handing Jamie Whincup a second win of the day.
Whincup had burst from fourth to first in a spectacular four-abreast run off the line with poleman Garth Tander, Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin. The champion then charged away from the field as everyone held off making their mandatory pitstops amid the high likelihood of the very dark clouds overhead unleashing a storm.
By the time the rain came on lap 15 of the planned 37, Whincup’s Triple Eight Holden was 7.5 seconds clear of the field. He timed his tire change just right as well, while others spent one lap too long on slicks on the increasingly wet track.
That turned out to be the limit of the racing. With David Wall in the barriers and the track awash, the safety car was called out and then the race red-flagged soon afterward. The cars were eventually sent out again for a few more laps under caution before the time limit was reached and a result declared after 24 laps.
Van Gisbergen claimed second ahead of McLaughlin, Bright, Mark Winterbottom and James Courtney.
Whincup’s Triple Eight teammate Craig Lowndes tagged returning series legend Marcos Ambrose into a spin at the first corner, with Ambrose then collecting Jack Perkins. While Ambrose resumed to finish 21st, Lowndes – who had missed race two qualifying following his heavy crash in the opening session – changed to wets too early and was 20th.
That dropped Lowndes to fourth in the championship behind van Gisbergen with just Sunday’s longer-distance race remaining in the 2014 season.