Gold Coast 600: Whincup and Dumbrell cruise to Sunday victory

Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell won the second race of the weekend at Surfer's Paradise.

Gold Coast 600: Whincup and Dumbrell cruise to Sunday victory

Paul Dumbrell led the way at the start, followed by teammate Alex Premat.

Behind them, David Russell was the first driver to find trouble. He punched in the nose of his car and went straight to the pits. After a swift repair, he returned directly in front of the race leaders, which gave Dumbrell a headache for a lap or so before he cleared the Nissan. But then he started to set sail and easily gap Premat.

Russell wasn't the only driver to receive front-end damage at the start with Warren Luff bending up his hood after contacting the back of Luke Youlden.

Triple Eight went 1-2-3 in the early going as Steven Richards overtook Craig Baird for third.

Only one full-course yellow

On Lap 16, the safety car made its first and only appearance of the race. Richie Stanaway broke the steering after contact with Jack Perkins and came to rest along the inside wall.

Just like yesterday, Triple Eight was forced to double stack, but it was reversed this time around. James Golding, David Wall and Aaren Russell all stayed out and took control of the race. Dumbell restarted fourth, Premat 11th.

Tony D'Alberto experienced some drams during his own stop, ripping out the still attached air hose as he peeled off and breaking the air jack coupling. There will be a post-race investigation for a pit stop infringement. 

Green-flag racing resumed on Lap 21. Soon after, disaster for Erebus as teammates Baird and Russell collided, sending the latter into the tire barrier. Baird was then called to the pit lane to serve a penalty.

Dumbrell retook control of the race from Golding on Lap 33 with the Volvo making its first pit stop two laps later. James Moffat took over behind the wheel and became the first primary driver to enter the race. David Wall followed suit the next lap, giving way to Scott McLaughlin.

The critical stops

The rest of the field aimed for Lap 60 before they pitted with Richards, Steve Owen and Dean Canto all coming in then. All stops included driver changes. Then Dumbrell gave up a six second advantage to pit and put Jamie Whincup in. Premat came in next and emerged nine seconds back of the No. 88.

Scott McLaughlin waited until Lap 65 to make his final pit stop, rejoining 11th. Michael Caruso took over the lead and he kept it out there until Lap 80. Behind him, Whincup was in complete control of the effective race lead.

Van Gisbergen charged through the field and moved into the runner-up spot, but once he got to within two seconds of Whincup, the veteran quit fuel saving and shot away. 

The battle for the final spot on the podium was on between Mark Winterbottom and McLaughlin. The crazed Kiwi made a massive dive on Frosty, locking all four tires up and skating sideways into the corner. Somehow, he didn't go straight off into the wall and even managed to take the position.

Wrap-up

At the finish line, Whincup scored his 101st career victory with a 9.079 margin over Van Gisbergen. It wasn't a complete loss for Giz and co-driver Premat though. They still came away with the Pirtek Enduro Cup trophy.

"I was a co-driver today. Dumbrell set the race up and I continued on with it," said Whincup during the post-race celebration.

McLaughlin held onto third, Craig Lowndes was fourth and Winterbottom fifth.

The remainder of the top ten was filled by Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsworth, Tim Slade, Caruso and James Courtney.

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Gold Coast 600: Whincup edges Van Gisbergen in shootout

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