Mark Winterbottom won today’s second V8 Supercars race at Winton, triumphing in a tense battle with Rick Kelly.
Both Winterbottom and Kelly jumped Chaz Mostert on the run to the first corner, with Kelly particularly swift off the line as he burst into second from the fourth on the grid.
From there, Winterbottom and Kelly staged a tense battle for the lead, with Kelly stuck to the rear bumper of the Prodrive Falcon for the first half of the race.
But while the Nissan driver could match Winterbottom’s speed, he didn’t have enough to make any sort of serious play for the lead. And as the race wore on, Winterbottom was able to stabilise the gap ultimately winning by 0.8s.
Kelly finished second to take Nissan’s second podium of the day, while pole-sitter Mostert hung on to finish third despite having to withstand huge pressure from Prodrive team-mate David Reynolds.
Most of the race’s action came on the first lap, with James Courtney braking way too late for the first corner and taking his Holden Racing Team team-mate Garth Tander out.
Tander retired straight away with damage, while Courtney was forced to serve a drive-through penalty. A lap later, with chances of a result long gone, Courtney returned to the pits to make a radical strategic move and take on wet weather tyres despite the bone dry conditions.
As a result, he will have an extra set of hard tyres for tomorrow’s 200-kilometre race.
Behind the top four, Shane van Gisbergen came home fifth after making a decisive move on Jamie Whincup on the run down to the turn three on lap two. Whincup took sixth, while Will Davison and Craig Lowndes staged an epic battle for seventh, a battle which Davison ended up winning.
The biggest mover in the race was Nick Percat. The LD Motorsport driver started down in 20th, but kept a clean nose through the carnage to pop up in 12th – a position he held until the end despite being pressured by Todd Kelly.
|23||James Courtney||Holden||+1 Lap|