Motorsport: Davidson makes bold statement at V8 opener with one two combo

By Eric Thompson

Jamie Whincup. Photo / Edge Photographics
Jamie Whincup. Photo / Edge Photographics

Will Davidson made an emphatic point in winning race two at the Clipsal 500, the opening round of the Australian V8 Supercars championship. He had race one in the bag with two laps to go when his car starting spluttering on a near-empty fuel tank.

Jamie Whincup rapidly closed the gap and pounced on the last lap to take a memorable win.

Fans witnessed a much calmer race two on Sunday, after the chaos and carnage of Saturday's 78-lapper. Davidson proved his previous day's form was no flash in the pan leading Mark Winterbottom and Garth Tander across the line.

"This is my first win in a couple of years and I can't say how proud of my team I am," said Davidson. "We did everything right on Saturday but it wasn't to be.

"My best mate wins on day one and I came back and got a win today. An unbelievable win and my first with FPR."

The normally dominant Team Vodafone cars of Whincup and Craig Lowndes suffered a few mechanical gremlins, which restricted their charge to the front of the pack towards the end of the race, the drivers settling for fourth and fifth.

"We had a good start and got the lead and the car was excellent," said Whincup. "The engine then developed a misfire that caused us to lose a heap of horsepower.

"To run fourth with that issue is unbelievable and a great result."

Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen had a solid run bringing his Stone Brothers Racing Ford home in sixth.

"Much better than yesterday but it was a boring race - a bit like Nascar - trying to conserve fuel," said Van Gisbergen. "We had a lot better car to drive today and sixth is definitely good for me."

Sunday's qualifying saw Whincup continue Saturday's good form and plant his Holden on pole with Tander alongside him. The best of the Kiwis were Shane van Gisbergen in ninth and Fabian Coulthard back in 14th.

Greg Murphy's race was over before he got anywhere near the grid. With nowhere to go, Murphy ploughed into the back of Jonathon Webb's car doing massive damage to both.

"It was the usual qualifying debacle with guys trying to do laps and others lingering around at 5km/h," said a gutted Murphy.

Tander got the jump on Whincup at the lights and led the opening lap but Whincup made a move on Tander on lap 11 to return to the front while the others probed but didn't commit. The race turned into an economy run with drivers playing the fuel numbers game.

A number of other Kiwis were pounding the streets of Adelaide in the support classes. Young V8 driver Scott McLaughlin was on the podium twice, second and third, in his two Dunlop Series races. Meanwhile, in the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup, three Kiwis of note; Craig Baird, Daniel Gaunt and 16-year-old new comer Andre Heimgartner performed well.

Baird had the best of the weekend with a seventh, second and a first, followed by Gaunt's two thirds and a fifth and Heimgartner with two fourths and a 15th.

Round two of the championship is in Tasmania, March 30-April 1.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 17 Apr 2014 16:10:21 Processing Time: 404ms