LOWNDES AND WHINCUP WIN BATHURST FOR CALTEX Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have steered their ...
LOWNDES AND WHINCUP WIN BATHURST FOR CALTEX
Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have steered their #888 Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon to victory in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama today.
Lowndes and Whincup became the first winner's of the Peter Brock Trophy, narrowly beating home brothers Rick and Todd Kelly to clinch Ford's first Bathurst win since 1998.
Lowndes took his second Bathurst victory today, his last being ten years ago in 1996. For Whincup it was his first Bathurst win and his second major victory in his debut season with Team Betta Electrical, having won the Clipsal 500 in March.
Caltex-backed team-mates James Courtney and Russell Ingall had a tight battle for the final podium spot in the latter stages of the race, with Courtney eventually winning third over the charging Ingall by a mere 0.0056 seconds.
Courtney and co-driver Glenn Seton drove a tactical and consistent race to claim third. The experienced Seton started the race in his 23rd Bathurst appearance, allowing Courtney to do a 'double stint' and complete the last 67 laps.
The result now ties Seton with Barry Mulholland with four Bathurst podiums and Courtney's third place comes in only his second Bathurst appearance.
Ingall showed very strong pace aboard the #1 Caltex Racing Falcon in the final stages of the race, drawing in a sizable gap to Courtney over the final laps as Courtney drove with hand cramps as a result of his 'double stint'.
Despite shadowing the rear bumper of Courtney several times, Ingall could not find a way past and missed achieving his fourth Bathurst podium by the narrowest of margins.
The international pair of Allan Simonsen and Richard Lyons did an outstanding job in the #88 Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon to finish 12th.
Simonsen and Lyons finished on the lead lap and ran with some of the established front-runners of V8 Supercars throughout the race to cap a great day for Team Betta Electrical.
Russell Ingall -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon
"We should have been on the podium or better today," said Ingall.
"We had a car as quick as Lowdnes at the end. Unfortunately we had another SBR car in front of us and protocol dictates that I had to be a little more careful than I normally would be.
"I guess I get some satisfaction from the fact that we had a fast car, but unfortunately the record books don't show that. All they will show is that we got beaten for third by 0.005 of a second.
"Luke did another strong job and I have to thank him for his efforts.
"The upside of this whole deal is that Ford got a victory on the Mountain with a Falcon using Caltex Havoline oils.
"Hopefully that will be one of many more in the next few years and hopefully I can be involved in them."
Luke Youlden -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon
"I struggled with the brake pedal through my first stint and I also had trouble with the water and air hoses which made me pretty uncomfortable in the car," said Youlden.
"The last thing I wanted to do was make a mistake and stick it up against a wall.
"In the second stint I was much more comfortable with the car. The only real mistake I made was at the last corner when I let James (Courtney) get by me, but I kept him in my sights so Rusty (Russell) could attack him in his last stint.
"I knew James was doing a double stint and that Russell would be fresher and that's what happened. I was disappointed the way things fell into place at the end, because we had the car for a podium.
"I have to thank SBR and Caltex Racing for the opportunity again this year. Russell was fantastic to work with because I just learn so much when I am teamed with him and I am very grateful for that.
"Hopefully we can get the job done next year."
Craig Lowndes -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"It's been a pretty moving weekend," said Lowndes.
"For Ford it has been so long and I definitely couldn't have done it without this whiz kid (Whincup) with me. I couldn't do it without him and this great team.
"For us it's a dream come true. It was always going to be a special weekend. To get your name on this trophy is a special thing and to be the first is a little more special.
"The car wasn't too bad on full tanks and got better as it went, which was a bonus for us.
"Rick (Kelly) had the pace down the straights and we were a bit better across the top of the mountain. We worked hard all weekend to make sure we had a great race car.
"I hope I don't have to wait another ten years.
"This weekend was always going to be a very special weekend. The best way I could show my respect was to get my name on that trophy.
"I think that this victory for me will top them all. To win on a very special weekend of memories and respect will probably hold as my number one."
Jamie Whincup -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"To win the Clipsal 500 and Bathurst with Triple Eight this year is very special," said Whincup.
"I had a big responsibility this weekend driving with Craig. I've really worked hard to make this weekend go well as I had such a big responsibility.
"At the last Safety Car I felt quite calm and I knew Craig was going to do the job. We were able to win the race on pure car speed and Craig's awesome driving."
James Courtney -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon
"It feels good to actually finish the race," said Courtney.
"The car was quite good all weekend but I didn't have the pace of Rick and Craig, but was good enough for third.
"It wasn't too easy to change gears towards the end (of the double stint) and my hand cramped up and ended up a bit like a claw.
"I was still able to get third and beat my team-mate, which is always good. It was a good result and it was a very tough for me in the end.
"Glenn did an excellent job and his experience showed. I couldn't have done it without him.
"We've still got areas to work on, but it's getting better and better as we go."
Glenn Seton -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon
"To have the opportunity to be here and be a part of a great team is a tremendous experience," said Seton.
"I've had second with Craig and now third with James and they are experiences I will always remember.
"It was great for the team to have the faith in me to start the car. I couldn't have gone any harder in the car today.
"The hardest thing about coming back is the mental side. Not having many miles and not being in the car all the time means that mentally it can challenge you."