Nissan scores historic 1-2 at Winton 360

Caruso and Moffat finished the first half of the race 1-2, with third-placed Winterbottom behind...

James Moffat was eight when a Nissan last won. His famous dad Allan was still racing. Two of the greats, Mark Skaife and Jim Richards won Bathurst, and that famous podium quote went down in Australian sporting folklore.

A year since Nissan introduced it was returning to V8 Supercars after 21 years they scored their first win. Even better than that, it was a 1-2. Norton 'Hornets' Moffat and Michael Caruso held steady hands to lead from start to finish when Red Bulls' Jamie Whincup had a failure when leading.

Caruso and Moffat finished the first half of the race 1-2, with third-placed Winterbottom behind and conscious of the Championship picture in a relatively conservative end to the first 20 laps.

Regardless of Whincup's plight it was a well deserved win for the Nissans, Moffat particularly happy given he has just resigned with the team on a new multi-year deal.

"We have all worked very hard to get to this point in your career and to break through for your first victory means a lot not just for me but the people who have helped me along the way. They know who they are, I am not going to mention all of them," Moffat said.

"What a great day for everybody at Nissan Motorsport, Norton Toshiba. There was a bit if hype around that if we were going to well anywhere this was it. I wasn't prepared to get too far ahead of myself, just try to keep a lid on it if you like.

"Sure Jamie had a bit of bad luck but I think both of us proved we had good speed in that race.

Caruso had led the first half of the 60-60 format but let Moffat through at the rolling restart.

"This is brilliant for our whole team. We knew we were going to come in this round better than we had been in the previous two and probably better than the next two," Caruso said.

"We are all wise enough and old enough to know that this circuit has no advantage for the cars that have big horsepower and that was proven today.

"We know the Nissans have been handling really well throughout the year at various places and that has worked for us really well."

It was Moffat, fastest in practice each day, who got the jump from the rolling restart. Caruso made sure there were no issues between the team-mates at the first corner, preserving the chance of an ultimate result for his team.

Just as Whincup looked to be in complete control as he has done so many times he had a massive malfunction of the front straight when approaching 220km an hour. Something 'broke' according to Whincup and he immediately pulled off the road.

It left the two Nissan Hornets in the lead with Winterbottom behind and closing the Championship points gap on Whincup.

"We were pretty stable there. I felt I was representing the line pretty well out there before that happened. That's racing, we will move on," Whincup said.

"There was a big explosion in the car inside coming out of the last corner and it just had no drive. There was no indication whatsoever everything was sailing smoothly. We got a good start and were leading the race. It was awesome to be on pole and it turned into nothing unfortunately."

Moffat became the 11th different driver to win a V8 Supercars race this season, and the fourth to win his first race this year. His previous best was fourth at Queensland Raceway in 2011.

Following the two Norton Hornets home was Bright, Winterbottom, James Courtney, Will Davison, Fabian Coulthard, Garth Tander, Russell Ingall and David Reynolds.

Others to note include rookie Scott Pye in 12th - his best finish since Race Two of the Championship, where he was 11th at the Clipsal 500 - and Craig Lowndes in 21st.

Today's race was an opportunity for Lowndes to bridge the points gap to Whincup, following the leader's first DNF of the season.

Whincup is now ahead of Lowndes by 101 points on 1803. Third is Davison, 143 points adrift; Winterbottom 162 behind and Brad Jones Racing pair Bright and Coulthard tied for fifth, 246 points behind the leader.

Interestingly five teams appear with both drivers positioned together in the points - Red Bull Racing Australia's one-two, Pepsi Max FPR three-four, with BJR, Holden Racing Team and TEKNO Autosports following suit.

Today's race is followed by back-to-back 15-minute qualifying sessions tomorrow at the Winton 360, ahead of two 100km races on Dunlop soft tyres.

V8Spercars series

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Will Davison , Russell Ingall , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Michael Caruso , David Reynolds , James Moffat , Scott Pye
Teams Red Bull Racing , Brad Jones Racing , Nissan Motorsport , Holden Racing Team
Article type Race report
Tags caruso, moffat, nissan, v8supercars, winterbottom, winton