Sydney Supercars: Whincup racks up 100th win

Jamie Whincup is a 100-time Supercars race winner after taking victory at Sydney Motorsport Park today.

Sydney Supercars: Whincup racks up 100th win
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden and Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Podium: Winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden, second place Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden, third place James Courtney, Holden Racing Team celebrate with champagne
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
James Moffat, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford

The Red Bull Racing Australia driver spent the first half of the 200-kilometre race following Triple Eight stablemate Craig Lowndes after the veteran made a belting start from fourth on the grid. The pair made their first stops together as well, coming in on Lap 10 to help Whincup jump Chaz Mostert, who had been sitting second.

In the second stint Whincup turned the wick up, closing the gap to Lowndes. They were nose-to-tail when they made their second stops together on Lap 30, Whincup jumping Lowndes in the lane to take over the effective lead.

And that was it. While he couldn’t shake Lowndes altogether Whincup had more than enough to control the final stint and join Lowndes in the 100 Wins Club.

“I got my first win in 2006, it’s been just over 10 years,” said Whincup.

“Every win has been with the same crew, so massive thank you to everyone at Triple Eight. I don’t want to talk like it’s the end [of my career], I’ve still got plenty to go.

“I think today was really fitting. It is exactly what my career has been about, [it was] a massive team effort. That’s what today was all about, jumping Lowndesy in the pits. To finally get that win, it’s an awesome feeling.”

For Mostert, it was yet another case of not converting pole to victory. The Prodrive Racing Australia driver went a little longer in the first stint, which cost him track position compared to Whincup and put him in a battle with Shane van Gisbergen. But while he could shake the #97 Commodore, he just couldn’t do anything about the other two T8 cars in front of him.

Fabian Coulthard finished the race fourth, but it took a little bit of good fortune. The DJR Team Penske driver had done enough to lock down sixth – only for James Moffat to misjudge a pass on van Gisbergen for fourth and send both cars off the track.

Coulthard snuck past them both as they re-joined, while van Gisbergen got going again to come home fifth.

Things just got worse for Moffat, though, on what was shaping up to be his best day since joining Volvo GRM; he was handed a drive-through penalty for tagging van Gisbergen, and finished way down in 18th.

That was good news from Scott McLaughlin, who – unusually for him – had been outpaced by his team-mate. Once Moffat served the penalty, though, McLaughlin was promoted to sixth.

The Holden Racing Team had a decent day out, Garth Tander and James Courtney finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Nissan had two cars in the Top 10 as well, Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso in ninth and 10th, with Rick Kelly chipping in with P11.

Mark Winterbottom’s title hopes took a dent with another average result. On what was a tough weekend, Winterbottom recovered a tyre issue early in the race to come home 14th.

“It was a tough weekend,” said the reigning series champion. “We topped practice and from then on we went down that hill pretty quickly. I just didn’t have anything. We tried our backsides off. We just had a bad weekend. This place, it’s just tough sometimes.”

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