Lowndes & Whincup triumph in Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 thriller !

– Words and Pics Courtesy v8supercars.com.au
Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup survived a highly dramatic
final dash in the damp to win the Supercheap Auto Bathurst
1000 for a second straight time today.
They led the first Ford trifecta since 1988 and moved to the
top of the V8 Supercar Championship lead with Whincup just
ahead of his Team Vodafone team-mate Lowndes.They finished just clear of James Courtney and David Besnard (Jeld-Wen
Motorsport Ford) and the Steven Johnson-Will Davison pairing
from Jim Beam Racing Ford.

While the pairing of regular V8 Supercar drivers Lowndes and
Whincup again proved profitable, it was a disaster for Toll
HSV’s Rick Kelly and Garth Tander, who relinquished their
1-2 Championship lead after a troublesome day.

Whincup now assumes the Championship lead just ahead of
team-mate Lowndes with Rick Kelly and Tander close behind –
the top four only separated by 27 points.

While last year’s victory was emotional for Lowndes,
following the death of mentor Peter Brock, he was in no doubt
about his third win – becoming the first pair to take the
Sandown-Bathurst double since he did it in 1996.

“No matter if you are Ford or Holden, this is Brocky’s
Mountain and we’ve done it again,” Lowndes said.

“After we got to the front from then in we just had to
knuckle down. It was a whole new experience … and had a few
moments everywhere. I was just trying to find those


“It’s great to see different Ford teams up the front.
It’s not just one or two teams, there’s real depth in the
Ford camp now. For us we didn’t have the fastest car here.
It’s fantastic to partner Jamie. I said last year he was a
whiz kid and he’s done a great job.

“Last year was a memorable win with Peter Brock. This year
is great to come back and do it again.”

After a processional first five hours, the final hour became
action packed after rain made conditions treacherous,
especially over the Mountain.

It accounted for polesetter Mark Winterbottom (Ford
Performance) who with co-driver Steven Richards dominated
proceedings for most of the day until light rain fell 18 laps
from the finish.

Winterbottom speared off across the sand trap at Caltex Chase,
and two laps later Jason Bright (Britek Ford), Russell Ingall
(Caltex Ford) and Mark Skaife (Holden Racing Team) also went
off on the top of the mountain in the damp.

Shortly after the restart Steven Johnson (Jim Beam Racing
Ford) passed Lowndes as James Courtney (Jeld-Wen Ford) and
Greg Murphy (Tasman Motorsport Holden) closed in.

Lowndes retook the lead as the front pair rubbed door panels
while Dancing with the Stars driver Courtney quick-stepped two
spots coming into the home straight seven laps from the

The positions remain unchanged as the drivers battled the
conditions to complete an extraordinary finish to this
extraordinary race.




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