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Clipsal 500: Whincup and Courtney Fight to Split Victories, Second Placings

Race 1
Red Bull Racing Australia’s Jamie Whincup brought car #88 to victory lane in race 1 of the Clipsal 500. After starting the race on the front alongside pole-sitter Scott Pye of DJR Team Penske, Whincup grabbed the lead from Pye before Turn 1 off the start and proceeded to lead comfortably to victory.

Whincup grabbed Pye off the line

Pole-sitter Pye fell to thirteenth after a bungled pitstop on lap 14, where the left rear wheel was not tightened properly and the car had to be stopped in the pitbox and raised to torque the rear wheel properly, costing several seconds.

The racing was interrupted by a deployed safety car was on lap 15 in order to resolve Freighliner Racing’s Tim Slade spun down the escape road past turn 9, who was unable to reverse out and had to be flat bedded to the pitlane.

Racing resumed on lap 19 and continued incident-free until the end of the 37-lap session.

Whincup’s victory seems him grab his 98th win, just five away from record-holding stablemate Craig Lowndes’ 103 victories. James Courtney of the Holden Racing Team followed in second, while Red Bull Racing teammate Shane van Gisbergen completed the podium in his first outing for his new squad.

Completing the top ten were Scott McLaughlin, Garth Tander, Todd Kelly, Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Rick Kelly and Fabian Coulthard.

Lee Holdsworth was turned around by Aaren Russell on the first lap, with the latter receiving a 25 point penalty for his hand in the incident.

Race 2

Supercheap Auto Racing’s Chaz Mostert started from pole in Race 2, eventually finishing third to Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney and Race 1 winner Jamie Whincup.

Courtney wrestled with Whincup until the final corner

The heat and the streets of Clipsal took their tolls on all the drivers, with several casualties within the race. Chris Pither’s Super Black Racing Ford took a hard shunt into turn 8 and subsequently the approach to 9 on the second lap, putting him out of racing for the remainder of the weekend.

Garth Tander’s #2 Holden Racing Team Commodore would not start after his compulsory pitstop. Laps later, his rejoin to the track laps later ended up in tears with contact to Tim Blanchard’s CoolDrive Commodore. A safety car was required to clean up the debris after the incident.

Tim Blanchard and Garth Tander got together on track

Nick Percat did not even make the start of the race, with the hood of the #222 SP Tools Commodore flipping up against the windshield during the warmup lap; the subsequent damage along with electrical gremlins prevented him from taking part in the race at any point.

Whincup pushed Courtney all the way to the end of the race with a healthy late-race exchange, despite pit stop wheel nut problems for the former. Behind them, Mostert struggled with race pace in a seemingly familiar pattern across the Prodrive Ford Falcons, after letting the #22 and #88 cars pass through on lap 21.

Courtney’s familiar ‘Frank The Tank’ routine returns in victory lane

Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin finished fourth, and Red Bull’s Shane van Gisbergen finished fifth despite pit stop issues not unlike those of his teammate, Whincup’s. Michael Caruso, Scott Pye, Jason Bright, Will Davison and Craig Lowndes completed the top ten.

Race 1 Results:
Placing Team Driver
1 Red Bull Racing Jamie Whincup
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney
3 Red Bull Racing Shane van Gisbergen
4 Wilson Security GRM Scott McLaughlin
5 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander
6 Carsales Racing Todd Kelly
7 Team Vortex Craig Lowndes
8 Bottle-O Racing Mark Winterbottom
9 Nissan Motorsports Rick Kelly
10 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard
11 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison
12 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye
13 Nissan Motorsports Michael Caruso
14 Erebus Motorsports David Reynolds
15 Prodrive Racing Aus Cam Waters
16 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert
17 Wilson Security GRM James Moffat
18 Superblack Racing Chris Pither
19 Team BOC Jason Bright
20 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood
21 LD Motorsports Nick Percat
22 LD Motorsports Andre Heimgartner
23 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth
24 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard
25 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell
DNF Freightliner Racing Tim Slade

Race 2:
Placing Team Driver
1 Holden Racing Team James Courtney
2 Red Bull Racing Jamie Whincup
3 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert
4 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin
5 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane van Gisbergen
6 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso
7 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye
8 Team BOC Jason Bright
9 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison
10 Team Vortex Craig Lowndes
11 Bottle-O Racing Mark Winterbottom
12 Prodrive Racing Australia Cam Waters
13 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly
14 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard
15 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat
16 Carsales Racing Todd Kelly
17 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade
18 GB Galvanizing Dale Wood
19 Erebus Motorsports Penrite David Reynolds
20 LD Motorsports Andre Heimgartner
21 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth
22 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell
23 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander
24 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard
DNF Superblack Racing Chris Pither
DNF LD Motorsports Nick Percat

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