Jamie Whincup has again led home a Red Bull Racing Australia one-two in the second race of the Austin 400 at the Circuit of the Americas, Texas.
Off the line pole sitter Whincup battled with team-mate Craig Lowndes for the lead of the race, the Red Bull pair tackling the opening corners side by side until Whincup seized command at the turn three-four-five complex and was only headed during the mandatory pit-stop sequence.
The drama started early for Brad Jones Racing with David Wall (Wilson Security Racing) coming into the pits after the formation lap. Wall was sent out onto the track once the race was started, but his car stopped on track with an oil pressure issue, reminiscent of his issues in Practice One on Friday.
Maro Engel (SP Tools Racing) was the first casualty of the race, retiring on lap four with broken steering after contact with Dodo Insurance Racing’s Dean Fiore. Fellow Erebus Motorsport driver Tim Slade was forced into the pits with the same power steering issue that Lee Holdsworth suffered from in the first race. The HHA Racing driver re-joined the race after repairs were affected and he went on to finish three laps down in 26th position.
Early in the race Jason Bright (Team BOC) suffered a lock up on the left front spearing off the track and collecting Todd Kelly (Jack Daniel’s Racing) whose car carried over damage from incidents in the previous race. Kelly sustained further damage at the entry to pit lane after rookie Chaz Mostert (Wilson Security Racing) drilled the back of the Nissan as he pulled the car up at the 40km line.
In the closing laps a lively battle for the final step of the podium ensued between Kiwi’s Fabian Coulthard (Lockwood Racing) and Shane Van Gisbergen (Team Tekno VIP), with Van Gisbergen’s team-mate Jonathon Webb (Team Tekno Darrell Lea) trailing the duelling pair closely. On the final tour around the circuit Van Gisbergen’s plucky passing manoeuvre didn’t quite come off leaving room for his team-mate Webb to seize the opportunity, and claim fourth position.
Another battle in the dying stages of the race saw Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew) and Rick Kelly (Jack Daniel’s Racing) fighting it out for position six with Winterbottom ultimately victorious after Kelly’s Nissan Altima cruelly ran out of fuel approaching the finish line.
The top ten positions at the chequered flag were Whincup, Lowndes, Coulthard, Webb, Van Gisbergen, Winterbottom, Scott McLaughlin (Fujitsu Racing GRM), Rick Kelly, Will Davison (Pepsi Max Crew) and James Moffat (Norton 360 Racing).
Whincup has extended his lead in the V8 Supercars championship, currently sitting on 1108 points. Will Davison is 113 points adrift, while Lowndes sits in third, 127 points down. Jason Bright is fourth, 256 points away and Coulthard rounds out the top five 268 points back from the leader.
The V8 Supercars will be back on track tomorrow with two fifteen minute qualifying sessions from 1100 local time.