Townsville Street Circuit
- Whincup leads Vodafone 1-2 finish
- Winterbottom places 3rd
- Sixth victory in 2011 for Whincup
Whincup Wins Final Race in Townsville
TeamVodafone has finished 1-2 in the final race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 today, with Jamie Whincup taking the win ahead of teammate Craig Lowndes.
Today’s race win is Whincup’s sixth of the year, and impressively is his third win from the six races held at the Townsville street circuit since the inaugural event in 2009.
“You never give up until the last minute. The car was fantastic on hard tyres and all we could do was fight back at the end,” said Whincup.
“I really wanted this one… we’ve had a couple of wins on Saturday here, but I’ve never been able to win on Sunday so this is great.”
Starting from 8th, Whincup gained several positions in the first stint and despite having to wait behind Lowndes during his second pit stop, he managed to take the race lead with less than 10 laps remaining.
Lowndes’ different tyre strategy with his soft tyres didn’t quite play out, but he was still happy to finish second.
“We tried to split those soft tyres but I suppose we had a little bit of understeer in that last stint,” said Lowndes.
“It’s a credit to Jamie, he had the pace at the end and we just had to bring a one-two home.”
Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom rounded out the podium after fighting inside the top five all race.
“Whincup was coming through pretty quick and I thought I’ll let him go and he’ll blow his tyres out, but he just kept driving away,” said Winterbottom.
“We’re getting close but we just need to work a little bit harder to catch those two cars.”
It was a great result for Stone Brothers Racing, with Alex Davison starting 22nd and finishing 4th ahead of teammate Shane van Gisbergen in fifth.
Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade recovered from contact with Jason Bright after the restart to fight his way back to seventh, behind Fujitsu Racing’s Lee Holdsworth.
Fabian Coulthard, Russell Ingall and Paul Dumbrell rounded out the top ten.
Despite a strong start on good condition soft tyres, Toll Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney was handed a drive through penalty for his contact on Slade and eventually finished 19th.
Team BOC’s Jason Bright also received a drive through penalty for contact on Trading Post Racing’s Will Davison after the restart.
Yesterday’s race winner Garth Tander was also looking strong early in the race until a broken shock mount ended his day.
Whincup has extended his lead in the championship to 186 points from teammate Craig Lowndes.
The series takes an extended break until the next championship event, the Ipswich 300 from August 19-21.