Red Bull Racing Australia continued to perform well, taking two of the three races in this weekend’s Skycity Triple Crown outside Darwin, and maintaining its championship lead. Even so, greater parity was seen than at the V8 Supercars’ debut in Austin, Tex., with six different drivers taking the nine podium positions available.
Season points leader Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia Holden) took the victory in Saturday’s 42-lap Race 17, beating Shane van Gisbergen (TEKNO Team VIP Holden) to the line by more than 0.4 sec. Van Gisbergen made up six spots for his P2, Tekno Autosports’ Jonathan Webb (Holden) pushing even harder to rise from P16 on the starting grid to finish fourth. James Courtney finished P3 for Holden Racing Team.
The first of twin 35-lap races on Sunday saw Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford) take the victory from the outside of Row 1, with pole-sitter Courtney finishing second. Whincup’s Red Bull teammate Craig Lowndes rose seven spots through the field to come in third. The victory was Winterbottom’s first in more than a year.
Lowndes carried that momentum into the day’s second race (Race 19), taking the victory from P2 on the grid. Winterbottom finished second, with David Reynolds (The Bottle-O FPR Ford) coming in third after winning his second pole of the weekend.
Rick Kelly (Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissan) made a hard charge at the back of the pack, finishing P12 after starting in the 25th spot and avoiding a large Lap 1 crash which both collected many of the other back-markers and shortened the race to 24 laps.
Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia), Holden – 1423
Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia), Holden – 1264
Will Davison (Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford), Ford – 1148
Red Bull Racing Australia – 2702
Lockwood Racing – 2254
Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford – 2252