Sydney Supercars: Whincup wins wild wet night race

Jamie Whincup won a wild wet weather Supercars affair under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Sydney Supercars: Whincup wins wild wet night race
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A fast start from the third row of the grid proved decisive for Whincup, the seven-time series champ bolting into the lead.

The head of the field was the place to be, too, visibility next to nothing in the pack thanks to the spray under lights.

Whincup was able to maintain the lead across the action-packed race, securing victory over Anton De Pasquale and back row starter Chaz Mostert after the race was declared with seven laps to go.

It wasn't just Whincup who made a quick getaway at the start, Bryce Fullwood coming from even further back to slot into second.

It was obvious that Fullwood's start was a little too good, though, and he was subsequently hit with a pitlane penalty for a premature launch.

There was more Lap 1 action further back in the pack, Brodie Kostecki and James Courtney both firing off at Turn 3, their respective Boost Mobile-backed cars ending up in the tyre wall.

That prompted a six-lap Safety Car to retrieve the cars and repair the barrier.

The restart provided more drama, series leader Shane van Gisbergen, who had been running fourth, sailing off the road at Turn 1.

He managed to bounce over the gravel and continue at the back of the field, an impressive charge over the laps that followed helping him back up to 12th.

However he was then slapped with a drive-though for passing De Pasquale before the control line at the restart – only for Triple Eight to successfully argue that De Pasquale had backed off.

The penalty was revoked, only for van Gisbergen to then cop another one when his car was dropped with the rattle gun on the right rear during his stop.

At the front of the field Whincup continued to lead ahead of De Pasquale, while Mostert – coming from the back row after being excluded from qualifying – made great progress by running long.

A Lap 21 Safety Car, called when Jake Kostecki sent his Matt Stone Racing entry into the wall, then played into Mostert's hands, a free stop helping him protect his position on the road.

That Safety Car eventually became a red flag with seven laps to go, before race control opted to call the race off.

That left Whincup as the winner from De Pasquale and Mostert.

"The car lit up off the start, which is the main thing, and I had some nice clean air," said Whincup of his 124th career win.

"It's a weird one to celebrate. Wins don't come very often, so I'm pumped for the win. Supercars did a good job. The fact we've got to rock up here next week as well, we're in a position where we can't be tearing cars up.

"The driver in me says keep going, the team owner in me says it was the right thing to do."

Mostert, meanwhile, was slightly bemused with his third place finish.

"I'm gutted not starting on the front row," he said. "The car was fantastic. The visibility wasn't too bad, I reckon it's worse in the day time with the glare.

"Lots of fun. I don't know how I got to third, I just put my head down and got on with it."

Nick Percat and Tim Slade finished fourth and fifth, the latter dealing without a wiper for most of the race, ahead of Will Brown and Will Davison.

Cam Waters, Todd Hazelwood and Andre Heimgartner were next, while Kelly Grove's sub driver Luke Youlden finish an impressive 11th.

Van Gisbergen was ultimately classified 23rd, his points margin to Whincup cut back to a still very healthy 337.

Cla   Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1   Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB -    
2   Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1.190 1.190 1.190
3   Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 2.437 2.438 1.247
4   Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 3.414 3.414 0.977
5   Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 4.520 4.521 1.107
6   Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 5.262 5.262 0.742
7   Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 6.265 6.265 1.003
8   Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 7.121 7.121 0.856
9   Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 7.747 7.747 0.626
10   New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 9.277 9.277 1.530
11   Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 10.066 10.067 0.790
12   Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 10.478 10.478 0.412
13   Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 11.310 11.310 0.832
14   Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 13.147 13.147 1.837
15   Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 13.969 13.969 0.822
16   Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 14.695 14.696 0.726
17   Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 15.752 15.752 1.057
18   Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 16.661 16.662 0.909
19   New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 17.531 17.531 0.870
20   Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 18.639 18.639 1.108
21   Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 20.128 20.128 1.489
22   Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 21.814 21.814 1.686
23   New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 24.447 24.448 2.633
    Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB      
    Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB      
    Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT      
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