By: Nick DeGroot, News manager, Motorsport.com
Posted: 02/08/2014 07:19
The first of three races this weekend has gone to Jamie Whincup has he charges back into championship contention
Mark Winterbottom's championship lead continues to be eroded by the constant barrage of victories from five-time and defending series champion Jamie Whincup. Today, he claimed his eighth win of the year and fifth in the last seven races.
The race came down to battle between the Red Bull duo. Pole-sitter Craig Lowndes ran a little wide with eleven laps remaining, then the two proceeded to swap the top spot three times within a single lap before Whincup was able to permanently prevail.
As he drove away with his 83rd career victory, the fighting continued behind him. Lowndes and Scott McLaughlin filled out the rest of the podium, followed by Fabian Coulthard in fourth.
It was on for the final spot in the top five at the end of the 33 lap sprint race. Championship leader Mark Winterbottom was desperate to grab all the points he could, locking horns with James Courtney and Will Davison in a fight he would eventually lose.
Courtney would finish fifth, Winterbottom sixth, Davison seventh, Tander eighth, Reynolds ninth, and Shane Van Gisbergen was tenth. There were no full-course cautions during the event, but tire issues plagued both Todd Kelly and James Moffat late in the going.
With the win, Whincup cuts Winterbottom's advantage in the title 'bout from 96 to 72 points.