Image credit: autonewsinfo.
James Courtney held off Shane Van Gisbergen to claim back to back Clipsal 500 victories, the first to do so since Jamie Whincup in 2009.
After Ricky Kelly had pitted from the lead on lap 69, it was left to Courtney to defend from Van Gisbergen for 10 laps.
At one point Van Gisbergen managed to pass the the Holden factory driver at the turn 9 hairpin, but handed the position straight back in an act of sportsmanship.
The Kiwi driver said after hitting the Holden Racing Team man he didn’t feel right about claiming the lead.
“I could have driven off but I thought I’d give it back and do it cleanly,” he said. “It was an epic race … I really enjoyed it.”
Courtney was grateful. “It’s a good race having good, hard racing with someone that you respect,” he said. “He was really quick and had a really good go”.
The win saw James Courtney jump to the top of the driver standing, 17 points ahead of nearest rival and race two winner Fabian Coulthard.
There was a double celebration for the Holden Racing Team as Garth Tander completed the podium finishing 1.8 seconds shy of the lead two. The double podium finish means that the HRT squad lead the teams championship by 71 points to Red Bull Racing Australia.
Jamie Whincup claimed fourth after a clash with Prodrive driver Chaz Mostert on the final lap. Race 1 winner Whincup got up the inside of Mostert at turn 9 before the two made contact on the exit, causing Mostert to spin into the wall.
The impact saw Mostert with a damaged front end, but his day was over when James Moffat collected the Ford, causing both to retire on the spot.
Due to retirement of Mostert, Mark Winterbottom was the only Ford in the top 10, finishing in fifth position, closely followed home by Fabian Coulthard.
While the two Kelly brother, Rick seventh and Todd 10th, were split by the two Holdens of Tim Slade and Craig Lowndes.
It was another disappointing day for Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin. The Kiwi was battling in the top 10 before an alternator problem caused him to pit for a lengthy time, dropping off the lead lap and eventually finish 18th.
Next up for the V8 Supercars teams is the non-championship round in Melbourne during the Australian F1 Grand Prix.
Charlie Price – email@example.com