Whincup takes weekend opener in Sydney

Jamie Whincup denied Tim Slade his first victory.

The Red Bull driver once again proves that he’s a man on a mission.

Although his good friend, Will Davison, started beside him on pole position after a strong qualifying session, that did nothing to deter the champion-elect, Jamie Whincup, from lighting up the field at the start of the race. Beating the pole-sitter to the first corner, it could be argued that the race was effectively over at that point as Whincup began to pull away.

Slade comes close to breaking through

Although Tim Slade briefly snatched the lead from Whincup during a pit-stop, Whincup made his way back by with just over ten laps to go.

Fighting Slade for the remainder of the race was Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver, David Reynolds. As the laps ticked away, Slade was able to keep Reynolds at bay and hold onto second.

With Whincup, Slade and Reynolds securing the Race 36 podium positions, the top-ten was rounded out by Scott McLaughlin, Rick Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen, David Wall, Fabian Coulthard, Jason Bright and Garth Tander

More Mercedes drama

Although Davison fought hard in an attempt to regain the lead, he eventually acquired power-steering damage after hopping a curb. Looking as if he had ignited a smoke bomb on track, the Erebus Motorsports Mercedes filled the track with clouds of smoke and was forced to retire early.

Similarly, Davison’s teammate, Lee Holdsworth, began his race from the back of the field in 26th after an issue during an earlier practice session. He was able to make some ground up, placing 17th.

Kelly vs. Pye

In an unfortunate event for Nissan team owner, Todd Kelly, the Jack Daniel’s driver found the tire wall after locking the rears which caused the back-end to spin. After attempting to re-enter the racing line, Scott Pye, who was already hard on the brakes, collided with Kelly which took both drivers out of the event.

Neither driver looked to be at fault as it proved to fall under the category of ‘racing incident’.

More FPR woes

For the man looking to take the second-step of the championship podium, Mark Winterbottom had a costly incident which sent him into the tire wall, as well. Unable to back it out, he was forced to wait for the tow truck to pull him out and, after a stop in the garage, found himself effectively out of contention for the race win.

For Winterbottom’s teammate, Chaz Mostert, the Bathurst champion suffered a pit-lane drive through penalty after running over the cones while entering pit-lane. Citing that he didn’t have full control over his car at the time of the incident, the FPR driver was also dealt a heavy blow as he looks to regain his spot in the top-five for the championship.

The quiet devil

For returning two-time V8 Supercars champion, Marcos Ambrose, it was a day at school for him. Learning as much as he can, he was soon punching out fast sector times towards the end of the race. Still getting used to the handling of the car, Ambrose remained quiet throughout the race (besides a brief scuffle with his former teammate, Russell Ingall) and stated that he is looking forward to the longer race tomorrow where he’ll also have another shot at qualifying better in the field.

History still being made

The win for Race 36 was Whincup’s 13th win in 2014 and further proved why Whincup is untouchable at the moment. Although he has nothing to lose at this point, more wins for him is simply icing on the cake. With the final race pf the day approaching, you can guarantee that the Red Bull driver will be looking for back-to-back victories.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Sydney
Sub-event Saturday race 1
Track Sydney Olympic Park
Drivers Garth Tander , Marcos Ambrose , Will Davison , Jason Bright , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Fabian Coulthard , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Lee Holdsworth , David Wall , Tim Slade , Shane van Gisbergen , David Reynolds , Scott Pye , Scott McLaughlin , Chaz Mostert
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Erebus Motorsport
Article type Race report
Tags djr, fpr, red bull, roger penske