V8 Supercars – Lowndes keeps championship hopes alive with victory in Sydney’s opening race‏

December 4, 2011

V8 Supercars

The battle for the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship title will go down to the wire after TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes took victory in yesterday’s opening 250km leg of the Sydney Telstra 500. Teammate, and championship rival Jamie Whincup was forced to the pits with steering issues and finished the race 20th.

After posting the fastest time in Saturday’s qualifying session, Whincup was met with tough competition in the Top Ten Shootout and ended the session fifth.

Lowndes couldn’t get the power he was looking for throughout both sessions, posting the ninth fastest time in Qualifying and losing control of Car #888 in the Top Ten Shootout. Lowndes started the 74-lap race from tenth on the grid.

The championship leader made a good start to Race 27 and was steadily progressing through the order until Lap 24 when he clipped a curb,  damaging the right damper. Whincup then glanced the wall at Turn 5 and was forced to the pits for repairs.

The TeamVodafone pitcrew worked frantically to get the car back out on the track, Whincup’s race became a salvage operation, the Holden driver collecting 45 points and finishing in 20th position.

Lowndes’ worked his way from 10th to first and turned his Championship prospects around.

On the final lap of the 74-lap race, Tander made a charge at Lowndes, the TeamVodafone pilot held on to take the top step on the podium.

Whincup now sits 83 points ahead of Lowndes heading into today’s final race of the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

The Sydney Telstra 500 will conclude today with Qualifying for Race 28 at 10.40am (AEDST) ahead of the final 74-lap race of the weekend at 3.05pm (AEDST).

TeamVodafone’s live race day blog from the pit garage will commence on http://www.teamvodafone.com at 3:05pm (AEDST).

For regular news and updates, head to http://www.teamvodafone.com

Top Ten V8 Supercars Championship Series Race 27 Results – Sydney Telstra 500

1: Craig Lowndes
2: Garth Tander
3: Shane Van Gisbergen
4: Michael Caruso
5: Mark Winterbottom
6: Tim Slade
7: James Courtney
8: James Moffat
9: Todd Kelly
10: Rick Kelly
20: Jamie Whincup

V8 Supercar Championship Standings

1: Jamie Whincup, 3078 pts.
2: Craig Lowndes, 2995 pts.
3: Mark Winterbottom, 2560 pts.
4: Shane Van Gisbergen, 2543 pts.
5: Garth Tander, 2526 pts.
6: Will Davison, 2345 pts.
7: Rick Kelly, 2289 pts.
8: Lee Holdsworth, 1920 pts.
9: Alex Davison, 1850 pts.
10: Fabian Coulthard, 1839 pts.

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