Fabian Coulthard came through an action-packed second race to claim his maiden win at the Clipsal 500. 

The race was full of drama from the outset, Scott McLaughlin taking the lead from second on the grid, beating race one winner Jamie Whincup to the first corner .

McLaughlin’s joy was short lived though, the Volvo driver was to judged to have jumped the start, causing the Kiwi to receive a 10 second stop and hold penalty to be taken during his pitstop. The 21 year-old then received further bad news, 10 seconds would be added to his race time for serving the penalty during a safety car period, dropping him from third to ninth.

Once McLaughlin had pitted Jamie Whincup took the lead but not for long. The Red Bull Racing Australia driver ran wide at the turn nine hairpin, letting Coulthard slip through and take the lead. Whincup suffered more problems, a tyre explosion on the entry to the high speed turn eight, causing the reigning champion to use all the skill he presses to keep his Holden under control and bring it back to the pits.

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Whincup eventually finished 21st and last meaning he only came away from Saturday with 75 points to his name.

Despite the drama behind, Coulthard never looked back and took his 5th career victory, in his 100th race for Brad Jones Racing. The 22 year-old leads the championship by 15 points to Craig Lowndes heading into Sunday’s 250KM race.

Coulthard’s advantage in the championship would be smaller but Lowndes was unable to hold off a charging James Courtney for second place.

Garth Tander rounded off a good race for the factory backed Holden Racing Team finishing fourth, ahead of Jason Bright and the two Nissan Motorsport drivers Rick Kelly and James Moffat.

Ashley Walsh and Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top 10 finishing eight and tenth respectively.

The Clipsal 500 continues on Sunday with qualifying and the 250KM race.

Charlie Price – charlie@sportscarglobal.com