To the crowd’s delight, V8 Supercars legend Craig Lowndes very comfortably roared to his 7th victory at Mount Panorama for his Autobahn Holden Commodore Team.
Lowndes’ #888 team mate Steven Richards of course also celebrated victory and marked his 5th Bathurst win.
Veteran racer Lowndes knew that anything can happen at Australia’s greatest race and that the win isn’t clear until the end! He played it cool through the race until the final 30 or so laps, when he took the challenge to David Reynolds Erebus Holden which had been the benchmark all weekend long , and had run a perfect race all day.
Reynolds and team mate Luke Youlden appeared to be setting up a win that would repeat last year’s when cramps took hold of Reynolds and he gave way tp the pressure mounted on him by Lowndes.
To add further suffering to Reynolds’ Erebus Team, when he pitted for a refresh, he received a Pit Lane penalty when he couldn’t keep his foot on the clutch. That penalty cost him 30 seconds which put him to the back of the field. That was later compounded further when he couldn’t complete the race and came in for a driver change with Youlden.
Youlden then took the #9 car to the finish line in a disappointing 14th position.
For Lowndes and Richards however, that all played into a fairytale win, for the pair’s last appearance together ahead of Lowndes’ retirement from full-time competition.
Lowndes brought the #888 car home a clear 6.2 seconds ahead of Scott Pye/Warren Luff in second place and further from Scott McLaughlin/Premat in 3rd.
Together they had maintained a run in the top group all day, with the only drawback being an error when Richards ran wide on a scheduled stop to pits. Lowndes recovered quickly once in the car, getting well back into the game by the time the critical caution rolled around.
With a Lap 97 restart, Reynolds and Lowndes took off to the front. They spent the first 10 laps less than a second apart, with Reynolds breaking lap records in response.
By the end, Lowndes’ experience carried him to a comfortable victory as Reynolds succumbed to pressure and pain.
Full race results;
|1||888||Steven Richards||Holden Commodore ZB|
|2||2||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB||6.292|
|3||17||Alexandre Prémat||Ford Falcon FG X||9.408|
|4||55||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG X||10.253|
|5||97||Earl Bamber||Holden Commodore ZB||27.421|
|6||33||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||30.010|
|7||8||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||36.542|
|8||34||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||37.233|
|9||12||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG X||47.112|
|10||1||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||56.433|
|11||11||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1’19.074|
|12||5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG X||1’35.009|
|13||9||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1’39.105|
|14||78||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1’47.776|
|15||19||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore ZB||1’52.397|
|16||7||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1’54.823|
|17||14||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1 Lap|
|18||21||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore ZB||2 Laps|
|19||230||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG X||2 Laps|
|20||35||Bryce Fullwood||Ford Falcon FG X||2 Laps|
|21||18||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||4 Laps|
|22||56||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG X||9 Laps|
|23||6||David Russell||Ford Falcon FG X||13 Laps|
|24||99||Will Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||18 Laps|
|25||23||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima|
|26||25||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB|