John Maricic, V8 Supercars correspondent
The Clipsal 500 experienced one of its greatest moments yesterday when Jamie Whincup in the Tam Vodafone Commodore took the chequered flag in the first race of the weekend out scoring his good mate Will Davison who hung on to cross the line before stopping after running out of fuel. Davison in the Trading Post Ford appeared to have it wrapped up with a handful of laps to go and with poor radio transmissions was focussed on the lap boards to remind him of his gap over Whincup.
In the end it was a matter of hanging on as Whincup who had pitted for fuel and fresh tyres with 12 laps to go passed Davison as they approached the final turn onto pit straight. Davison’s fuel light flashing and all he could do was coast across the finishing line. An emotional Whincup whose father passed away during the week following a battle with cancer highlighted the friendship he and Davison share.
Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tender finished 3rd with Craig Lowndes in the second Team Vodafone Commodore grabbing 4th after being forced back through the field after a deflated tyre, whilst Lee Holdsworth who switched to Irwin Racing rounded out the top five spots.
There was plenty of carnage around the streets of Adelaide with Jason Bright colliding with the concrete wall at the famous Turn 8 which sent James Courtney and Taz Douglas spinning, all three bound for the garage with the teams working overtime to complete them for today’s second race of the round and season.
Davison could only lament what was a lost opportunity, “What can you say, at the end of the day we gave it our best shot”. He stopped short of saying what everyone else was thinking, he deserved to win. But that is motor racing. Just when you think you have it in the bag someone comes along and takes it from you. Whincup described the win as one of his best and that is no doubt due to his friendship with Davison. Although they sprayed the champagne together , tomorrow is a different day and they will be both be battling it out around the concrete jungle with Davison looking to equal the score.