The V8 Supercars Championship landscape has changed with Jamie Whincup taking back the Championship lead from teammate Craig Lowndes after race one of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in Queensland today.
Jamie Whincup and international leading driver Sebastien Bourdais won the race, making Bourdais the only driver to win on the Gold Coast circuit in both an IndyCar and a V8 Supercar.
Ford Performance Racing also had a stellar day, following Team Vodafone with Will Davison and Mika Salo in second place and Mark Winterbottom and last minute replacement international driver Richard Lyons third.
All drivers were hampered in the lead up to the 300km race with qualifying turned into a short affair for the drivers when rain effectively ended the chance for drivers to post a fast time eight minutes into the 30-minute qualifying session.
Garth Tander was able to post the best results of the short qualifying session and lead the top ten into the shootout, with last years Armor All Gold Coast 600 winners Steve Owen and Jamie Whincup posting second and third place results.
The Top 10 Shootout results secured Whincup and Bourdais’ pole position for the main race with the Tander/Ryan Briscoe combination in position number two and Will Davison and F1 driver Mika Salo in third.
With all of the 28 internationals starting the race, the racing landscape was a mix of strategy with driver changes; James Moffat was able to take advantage of an alternative pit strategy that saw him lead a large portion of the race before eventually taking fourth place.
James Moffat took his Jim Beam Racing Car to the extreme recording the fastest ever lap time on the Gold Coast 600 track of 1min 11.3020secs before finishing ninth overall for the day.
Whincup's Team Vodafone teammate Craig Lowndes was unable to keep up with his teammate today after his car suffered serious issues requiring both Lowndes and international Andy Priaulx to pit regularly before retiring from the race.
Whincup was relieved to take home both the win and the points to push himself back into the lead for the championship.
"We've had a reasonably tough run over the past three or four rounds, we lost the championship lead, which was pretty disappointing, I was 100 points behind my team-mate, and that felt like 300 points," said Whincup.
Whincup and Bourdais
“Today, we got lucky, we don't like seeing a Team Vodafone car in the pits, but that's the way the cards are dealt.
"Our car was fantastic, we went hard the whole race, Seb did a great job just controlling the pace at the start and we pushed on hard at the end - the car was great.
Winning international driver Sebastien Bourdais was particularly impressed with the result, he said, "you get excited when you win, it was a great day and I really enjoyed my ride. It has been a sweet weekend so far I just hope to carry the momentum on.”
“I'm really happy for Jamie, I know what it's like to lose the lead in a championship when you do nothing wrong.
“I was just so happy to get a win like this - overall, a great weekend, a great car and a great team.
"Jamie is obviously a great driver and I'm really happy to be pairing with him because it made for a special day."
The Formula Ford’s kicked off the racing for the support categories today, with Queenslander Liam Sager taking the race one victory off pole sitter Cameron Waters who finished behind him in second with Jack LeBrocq in third.
Race two saw Jack LeBrocq move up and take the race win followed by race one winner Liam Sager in third, Tom Williamson was helped into third by a Cameron Waters mistake which ended Water’s day.
Race one of the Porsche Carrera Cup saw Craig Baird take the race win with Daniel Gaunt and Jonny Reid almost three seconds behind in second and third respectively.
The V8 Utes category took to the track for the first race of the Gold Coast round; poll sitter Ryal Harris was able to hold onto his lead and finish the race out in front.
Harris had a three second lead on second place Cameron McConville and Nathan Pretty who trailed McConville in third by four seconds.
The Touring Car Masters completed their second race for the round, with Tony Karanfilovski grabbing the win, Andrew Miedecke taking second and yesterday’s winner John Bowe finishing in third.
Tonight once again, the Broadwater Parklands will be transformed once again for the 600 Sounds Concert Series – presented by Sea FM with a brand new set of music enthusiasts.
Catering for rock fanatics, Scottish legendary band Simple Minds are preparing to headline the tonight’s event with; Eskimo Joe, Masters Apprentices and Australian rock royalty The Hoodoo Gurus also ready to hit the stage for the final night of the concert series.
Music fans last night were treated to some of Australia’s best hip-hop entertainers with the crowd flooding in to see headliners Bliss N Eso supported by Tonite Only, Bag Raiders, Drapht, the Potbelleez and lyricist Illy – who still went on for the crowd despite suffering from the effects of the flu.
Racing resumes tomorrow with a 30 minute qualifying session before the main game – the final 300km race.
ARMOR ALL GOLD COAST 600 Surfers Paradise, Queensland
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