Finally! The first win of the season for Jamie Whincup. 105th in a career
Jamie Whincup (Triple Eight/Red Bull Holden Racing) waits the half-season mark to reach his first Supercars victory in 2017. The six-time V8SC champion captures his 105th win in a career in Sunday’s race of Watpac Townsville 400 at Townsville Street Circuit. Whincup managed to beat championship leader Scott McLaughlin (DJR Team Penske/Shell V-Poewer Racing) who started from pole position for the ninth time in fourteen races.
With 105 wins on his account, Whincup is equal with Craig Lowndes as the all-time most successful drivers in the history of the ATCC/Supercars Championship.
Pole-sitter McLaughlin had maintained the lead off the start, holding out David Reynolds who started well from third on the grid. Whincup passed his teammate Van Gisbergen off the start and took five laps to overtake Reynolds. Whincup was 1.5 seconds behind McLaughlin when the #88 Holden made its first stop on lap 16. McLaughlin pitted a lap later, took six litres more fuel than his rival and dropped to P2.
Whincup pulled away to three-second gap but after the second round of pitstops, McLaughlin was one second behind. Whincup remained in the lead until the end of the race. Shane Van Gisbergen completed a podium, ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert.
Fabian Coulthard, who came to Townsville as championship leader, had another rough day and finished in the 21st place. He’s now now 158 points adrift of McLaughlin in the championship.
Scott McLaughlin remained in the championship lead after 14 races, just six points ahead of Jamie Whincup. The next race is CoatesHire Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway.