V8 Supercars – Whincup & Bourdais Dominate Armor All Gold Coast 600

October 22, 2011

V8 Supercars

Jamie Whincup was the benefactor  of a similar problem that lost him  the Championship lead two weeks ago after a polished win with Frenchman  Sebastian Bourdais in the first 300km leg of the Armor All Gold Coast  600.


He took back the V8 Supercar  Championship lead he had lost to  TeamVodafone partner Craig Lowndes who bombed out with electrical and cooling  dramas, similar to the alternator problem of Whincup at the Supercheap Auto  Bathurst 1000.


In a cracking last 12 laps Whincup  and Bourdais beat Trading Post pair Will Davison and Finland’s Mika  Salo with Mark Winterbottom and Northern Irishman Richard Lyons third.


It means Whincup is back in  front of the Championship with  another 300km battle tomorrow.


“We’ve had  a reasonably tough run over the last few rounds and lost the Championship lead  which was pretty disappointing,” Whincup said. “I felt 100 points to my  team-mate was like 300 points but today we got lucky. We don’t like seeing the  888 car in the pits but that’s the way their cards were  dealt.”


Bourdais  was outstanding in his second drive of a V8 Supercar having clinched tow of his  four Champ Car World titles at this track in an open  wheeler.


“I really  enjoyed my ride. It has been a sweet weekend so far and I hope to carry the  momentum into tomorrow. I am really happy for Jamie because I know how what it  is to lose the lead in the Championship when you have done nothing wrong,” Bourdais said.


“I was  hoping he could get back in it with a win like this and also I had a great time.  We clinched two of them (Champ Car crowns) at this race and it was always very  challenging and hard work. It requires a lot of commitment.


“There is  no Championship pressure on my shoulders but at the same time you can really  affect the Championship of your team-mate. It’s very different but when you win  it doesn’t matter.


“It’s a  crazy place and an awesome place to come and race. The crowd is great and it’s a  fantastic atmosphere.


Lowndes’ day got off to the worst possible start – twice. In qualifying the electrical  dramas began when he failed to get a single flying lap in, a drama exacerbated  by a shower during the session that meant anyone who didn’t post a fast time  missed the Amor All Shootout.


It meant  Lowndes and Priaulx started from the tricky position of row 15 but they didn’t  even manage that. Priaulx had more electrical issues on the warm-up lap and  struggled into the pit to start from the rear of the  field.


The team  believed they had addressed the issue when they sent Priaulx back out but barely  into his first lap he came to a crawl. Then it was race over. Despite numerous  attempts to get back out they officially retired with the leader on lap 82 and  them having completed just 24.


“That’s  motor racing, you take the high and lows,” Lowndes said.


“We were  talking Bathurst  a few weeks ago going from that very big high to today. We’ve been chasing those  electrical problems all day. Then we seemed to hit a bollard which went into the  radiator. That’s life but we are looking good for  tomorrow.”


A safety  car on lap 50 left Tander in an interesting place. Briscoe had not yet done a  third of the race that is required by international drivers but a safety car  allowed him to change with Tander, do a single lap then come in and change  again.


A second  safety car threw more into the mix and most of the field pitted again for more  fuel.


It left  Jim Beam’s James Moffatt in the lead from Lee Holdsworth and Tim Slade but all  three were struggling for fuel with Whincup stalking them from behind.  Holdsworth and Slade had to pit leaving Moffatt on his own but also shifting  Whincup into second.


Moffatt  got more fuel on lap 89. Had he waited on more lap when a safety car was called  he may well have been in the finish and bis  maiden V8 Supercar podium.


The young  son of great Allan Moffatt came out with fresh tyres and proceeded to blitz  through the field in what was arguably the best race of his first year in V8  Supercars, finishing fourth with American Joey Hand.


“I had  nothing left,” said Moffat. “Another couple of laps and I might have had those  FPR cars which would have been pretty sweet. I’m proud of the guys, they took a  bit of a gamble in the middle of the race and it almost paid off for us but I’ve  got to hand it Joey, he did an awesome job in the first  stint.”


Fabian Coulthard also charged home  to fifth, while Greg Murphy, Rick Kelly, Michael Caruso, Jonathon Webb and Lee  Holdsworth rounded out the top 10.

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