Craig Lowndes had the best start to the V8 Supercar season when his 1 minute 21.2738 seconds lap edged out Holden’s Garth Tander (1 minute 21.2908) for pole position, with Will Davison the fastest Ford in the FPR third.
Last year’s Champion, Jammie Whincup started his Vodafone Holden from fifth. Saturday’s opening 250km race saw spectacular crashes at the high-speed (220 km) turn eight, leaving many teams trying to fix destroyed cars for Sunday’s second race. James Courtney’s Holden Racing Team Commodore wiped off its left-hand side in a huge lap four accident which also involved Holden duo Jason Bright and Taz Douglas.
Jason Bright was taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays after complaining of a sore shoulder following the crash. David Reynolds’ Bottle-O Racing Ford also went off on the same turn midway through the race and he too required medical attention. Whincup drove superbly taking the race lead on lap 52, breaking lap record after lap record for 15 laps until he made his final pit stop then methodically cut down the leading Ford of Will Davison, (whose car was running out of fuel) to win the opening race of the Clipsal 500. Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander finished in third and Craig Lowndes in fourth.
Will Davison turned the tables when he won the second race on Sunday as defending V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup suffered a misfiring engine.
It was 29 year old Davison’s first win in his second season at FPR, leading home a Ford Performance Racing team 1-2 with team-mate Mark Winterbottom second and Holden’s Garth Tander third with Whincup fourth. More than 82,000 spectators attended the final day’s racing to bring the total attendance for the four day Clipsal event in Adelaide to more than 263,000.
The next (non-championship) event will see the V8 Supercars in action at the Melbourne F1GP meet next weekend.