Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell take honors at the 50th Anniversary Bathurst 1000 !
A record crowd of just over 207,000 V8 fans turned out at the Bathurst race event completing on Sunday 7th October, 2012 to watch the most thrilling 50th Anniversary Bathurst 1000 !
The breath-taking final minutes saw Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup hold onto his lead to beat Team Bottle-O’s David Reynolds to the top podium spot by a mere 3/10’s of a second !
Maybe it was the words of Dick Johnson who earlier said that Whincup was `mentally too fragile to win at Bathurst’, or maybe it was the desire to prove that he could win at Bathurst without partnering Craig Lowndes, but whatever it was, he certainly found the motivation and the mental strength to hold off Reynold’s courageous and relentless chase for the most narrow of margins.
Whincup now appears in the record books alongside legend Allan Moffat and Greg Murphy as 4 time Bathurst winners. For Whincup’s co-driver Paul Dumbrell, this is the first win from 12 starts at the Mountain !
“To stand on the top step for the 50th year, without doubt, it’s unbelievably special”, said Whincup as he held the Peter Brock Trophy !
To the words of “maintain the pressure” via radio from his team manager, Reynolds pushed Whincup all the way during the final 6 – 10 laps, in pursuit of what would have been his first ever V8Supercars win and of course the first at Bathurst.
This is however, still an incredible moment for Reynolds, who partnered with fellow endurance racer, Dean Canto, to push the big Ford Falcon onto the podium in a very respectable 2nd place !
Wearing the retro colours of the first Falcon GT to race at Bathurst (British Race Green and Gold GT stripes of the 1967 XR GT), the Bottle-O was the first Falcon to win a podium spot at Bathurst in the last 4 years and Reynolds’ first in his V8Supercars career !
As the Ford vs Holden battle was taking place up front, another equally as exciting and thrilling was taking place only 6 seconds behind between Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes and James Courtney for third spot.
Coming from a close fourth, Lowndes put the pressure on Courtney who finally gave way for a gutsy overtake by Lowndes on lap 159 to claim and hold third spot.
Wearing one of the most prestigious retro colours, the red on white of Peter Brock’s No 5 Marlboro Torana, Lowndes said that it was an honour to carry the 50th anniversary livery and that he’d hoped he’d done enough to make the Brock name proud by appearing on the podium even in third.
It was a more unfortunate tale however for the Ford Performance Racing partnership of Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison who finished in 11th and 24th place respectively, adding only minor points to their championship tally.
In the case of Davison though, to finish at all was a major miracle after the 2009 Bathurst champs’ brakes failed as he came off Conrod Straight at 300 km/h. Rocketing in reverse after spinning out, barely missing Courtney’s rear as he crossed back over Conrod and hit the wall to come to a stop near Hell’s Corner. Davison later said that without brakes, he was a complete passenger for the ride and had no control of the car at that speed.
Equally as disappointing a day for Garth Tander and Nick Percat when the 2011 Bathurst champs’ Commodore hit the wall on lap 38 with steering troubles to end their day.
The next V8 Supercars event is the Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise on October 19-21.
Happy anniversary Bathurst 1000 !
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