Craig Lowndes is now a V8 Supercars centurion, after winning his 100th series victory today in Darwin.
Lowndes had been sitting on 99 wins since the Tasmanian round back in March, but today finally broke into triple figures thanks to a straightforward win from fifth on the grid.
The Triple Eight driver had a somewhat fortunate run down to the first turn at the start, the path to the front clearing from when the pole-sitter Rick Kelly out-braked himself, ran wide, and took Fabian Coulthard with him.
Through the mayhem, Lowndes emerged into a lead that he would comfortably hold until the finish.
Incredibly Lowndes' 100th win came in the series’ 888th race.
“It’s quite incredible," Lowndes said.
"We’ve been close a number of times, but this one is special for me. We didn’t think it was going to happen today, but all the stars aligned."
Tim Slade was another to benefit from the Kelly/Coulthard issue at the start, popping up in second place after starting eighth. The Walkinshaw driver had to work hard to keep the chasing pack, led by Prodrive’s Chaz Mostert, behind him, but managed to hold on for second place.
Today’s first race winner Mostert finished third, ahead of Penske’s Scott Pye, who took his best result of the season with a hard-fought fourth place.
Shane van Gisbergen had another action-packed race on his way to fifth place. At one point, he was clearly the fastest driver on track and scrapping over third with Mostert. But an off-track excursion dropped him to sixth, the Kiwi having to muscle his way past James Courtney late in the race.
Scott McLaughlin was the best of the Volvos down in ninth, team-mate David Wall having been caught up with Dale Wood mid-race, while James Moffat wound up best of the Nissans down in 11th thanks to Kelly’s turn one blunder and the subsequent drive-through penalty.
The biggest crash of the race happened on the first lap, when Will Davison tagged Andre Heimgartner, sending the Super Black Racing car into a spin. From there, Heimgartner was collected by Jamie Whincup and Nick Percat.
Whincup went on to finish 16th, while Percat and Heimgartner retired from the race.
Davison race didn’t get much better, though. Later in the race he was turned around by Erebus team-mate Ash Walsh, the pair finishing 19th and 20th respectively.
|22||Dale Wood||Holden||18||28'32.9793||3 Laps|