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MotorCulture
30-03-15, 07:04 PM
Red Bull continued to dominate on Sunday – though it was Jamie Whincup taking the honours.

The six-time champion took advantage of a Craig Lowndes error, when he hit David Reynolds at the first corner of the final race at Symmons Plains.

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Reynolds made the better start out of he and Lowndes off the grid, but the pole-sitter turned him around at the first corner, sending him to the back of the field.

Will Davison will also wonder whether he broke a mirror while walking under a ladder, with the pacy Erebus driver’s race done at the end of the first lap with mechanical problems. The team blamed power-steering problems after contact with Shane van Gisbergen. Volvo’s David Wall also drove into the garage at the end of lap one.

Mark Winterbottom, who started on the the hard tyres compared the most of the field’s softs, slid down the order to 11th, with fellow hard tyre-runner Fabian Coulthard just behind.

On the fourth lap, Lowndes was handed a pitlane penalty dropping from the lead to the rear of the field, handing the advantage to Whincup.

Reynolds recovered to 15th by the end of lap nine, passing James Courtney whose pace was uncharacteristically slow on the hards.

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Van Gisbergen pitted on lap 15 as after he was unable to get ahead of race leader Whincup.

The early stops elevated Reynolds to 10th, while Winterbottom moved to seventh on the hard tyres.

Whincup pitted on lap 19, exiting pitlane just ahead of van Gisbergen, though he stopped for a shorter amount of time.

Garth Tander and Winterbottom pitted a lap later, though there was almost contact between the two during the stops. The Ford driver exited into 17th place, but with soft tyres and a large load of fuel, as he planned on running long.

Lowndes, desperate to make amends for his penalty, pitted on lap 23, switching to hards, though the plan was to revert to the softs later in the race.

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Chaz Mostert led from Andre Heimgartner at lap 27, with Reynolds making way to third. That said, his earlier incident had him 20 seconds adrift of the leaders.

Mostert pitted on lap 30, highlighting the lifespan of the soft tyres. He handed the lead to Reynolds, but exited pitlane behind Whincup. The strategy effectively split the Pepsi Max Ford cars.

Nissan’s Michael Caruso was the victim of a pitlane double-stack, when he and James Moffat entered pitlane at the same time.

Lowndes also got another stop out of the way by lap 39, exiting in 19th place, but effectively ruling out stopping again.

Tander started on softs, ran hards in the middle and put his used softs back on at lap 47.

By lap 48 Mostert grabbed the lead of the race as Whincup pitted for the final time. However, he dropped back to second place when he stopped after the reigning champion.

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Van Gisbergen moved to third, but could slowly reel in Mostert who was battling on used tyres.

With 18 laps remaining, Courtney dropped back to 12th, while Winterbottom motored to fifth.

Jason Bright almost clattered teammate Coulthard at the hairpin, but narrowly avoided the Kiwi when his tyres locked up. The weekend was a form reversal for the team that dominated at this track in 2013.

Lowndes continued his charge from his earlier penalty, charging up from seventh with seven laps to go.

Bright then dropped two positions in quick succession, with Courtney and Reynolds both getting through. Meanwhile, Lowndes shadowed McLaughlin as he tried to snatch sixth place.

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Mostert held on to claim second in the race from van Gisbergen. Tander finished fourth ahead of Winter bottom.

Scott McLaughlin grabbed some valuable points for Volvo in seventh place while Todd Kelly was the best Nissan in 13th.


RACE RESULTS

Race 6
1. Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF
2. Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X
3. Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF

Race 5
1. Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF
2. Pepsi Max Crew Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF
3. Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF
8. Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF

Race 4
1. Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF
2. Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X
3. Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF
4. Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF


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LINKS:
www.xforce.com.au (http://clixtrac.com/goto/?43522)
www.tekno.com.au (http://www.tekno.com.au/)
www.autoaction.com.au (http://www.autoaction.com.au/)