Craig Lowndes takes 100th V8 Supercar win
In what was a dramatic day of racing on the newly resurfaced Hidden Valley Raceway; Craig Lowndes has taken his one hundredth ATCC/V8 Supercar victory. The opening race of the weekend was taken out by Mostert for a Prodrive Racing 1-2 finish with teammate Mark Winterbottom, Craig Lowndes winning the second of the incident packed sprint races.
In the opening race it didn’t take long for drama to unfold as third and fourth place starters Fabian Coulthard and Jamie Whincup came to blows. Appearing to get too deep under brakes, Whincup clipped the rear of Coulthard’s Commodore sending the pair off the track, Coulthard subsequently retiring
Following a brief safety car period for a fire at turn one, a slew of accidents put many of the top-ten contenders to the back of the pack. Kiwi Scott McLaughlin’s race came to a premature end, the Volvo Polestar racer suffering suspension damage after spinning Craig Lowndes at the hairpin.
David Reynolds, Andre Heimgartner, and Jason Bright all found themselves quickly dropping out of the top ten – Reynolds spinning at the final corner whilst Bright and Heimgartner both ran off the road at the first turn.
After the earlier incident, Craig Lowndes had begun to move his way through the field. However with just five laps remaining the Red Bull Racing driver spun off causing yet another fire and safety car.
Having started from pole position James Courtney had fallen back to fourth with just a two laps remaining. The HRT driver’s race though falling apart when he made contact with Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen and fellow team mate Garth Tander- van Gisbergen slipping to twelfth.
Mostert winning the first race of the weekend to secure a Prodrive Racing 1-2 with Mark Winterbottom coming home in second. Nissan Motorsport driver Rick Kelly secured third place, later starting the second race from pole position.
Much like the opening race, the second sprint was again a dramatic affair with Coulthard involved in another incident at the opening corner. Pole sitter Rick Kelly locked up at the opening corner, punting the Lockwood Racing Commodore off the track.
The New Zealand contingent continued to struggle, Super Black Racing driver Andre Heimgartner being spun and collected on the way through by Jamie Whincup and Nick Percat - The incident prompting the first and only safety car of the race.
With four laps remaining Shane van Gisbergen was hot on the heels of Chaz Mostert and Tim Slade -but came off the road towards the end of the lap dropping to sixth - a move a lap later however putting the Kiwi back into fifth.
At the head of the field Lowndes streaked away to over Tim Slade and Chaz Mostert to five seconds, taking his one hundredth win over the ATCC and V8 Supercar championships. Tomorrow sees a twenty lap qualifying session for the V8 Supercar championship followed by a seventy lap feature race.