Motorsport: Lowndes just holds off Winterbottom in Darwin

By Eric Thompson

After the Texas outing, Darwin track will be another tough test of tyre strategy.

Mark Winterbottom yesterday took the chequered flag in Darwin for his first V8 Supercars race win in more than a year. Picture / Edge Photographics
Mark Winterbottom yesterday took the chequered flag in Darwin for his first V8 Supercars race win in more than a year. Picture / Edge Photographics

Holden's Craig Lowndes avoided a spectacular pile-up and a fiesty Mark Winterbottom to win the third and final race of the V8 Supercars round in Darwin yesterday.

Winterbottom earlier won his first V8 Supercars race win in more than 12 months.

Lowndes sped to victory down the home straight with his Ford rival right on his tail to triumph by just 0.12sec and they were joined on the podium by pole-sitter David Reynolds.

Lowndes' 92nd career victory maintained second spot in the championship, 159 points behind Red Bull Racing teammate Jamie Whincup, who finished 19th.

Fans at a packed Hidden Valley circuit had to endure a long delay after carnage on lap one that forced seven cars to pull out.

With cars travelling at 190km/h between turns two and three, contact to Tim Slade's Mercedes seemed to be the cause of a massive pile-up that left 10 vehicles strewn across the track.

Slade, David Wall, Alex Premat, Lee Holdsworth, James Moffat and Alex Davison were forced to quit due to excessive damage, as was Dean Fiore, whose Holden ended up on two wheels after smacking the tyre barrier at serious speed.

The incident resulted in a red flag and a rare race restart 15 minutes later as debris was cleared from the track.

Stewards ruled the race would be reduced for the new 21-man field due to time restrictions.

A second red-hot start from Reynolds went to waste as Lowndes took control.

- AAP

- NZ Herald

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