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Malcolm Flynn | Aug 27, 2012

Jamie Whincup’s 2012 championship lead has been eroded to just one point, following the weekend’s V8 Supercar round at the newly-renamed Sydney Motorsport Park.

Whincup entered the round 82 points ahead of Mark Winterbottom, but a disastrous 23rd placing in the Saturday race saw Winterbottom briefly assume the championship lead by 20 points.

Winterbottom’s lead was short lived however, with Whincup’s Sunday victory returning him to the top of the ladder by a single point.

Despite starting on pole on the Saturday, Whincup’s eventual 23rd placing was a result of a delaminated rear tyre. Rather than pit, he chose a drastically reduced pace.

Whincup’s teammate Craig Lowndes had far better fortune with his tyres, crossing the line first on Saturday after completing the last 25 laps on soft tyres - an incredible feat at the tyre-hungry circuit.

Lowndes claimed pole for the Sunday race ahead of Whincup, with Jason Bright securing an impressive third on the grid.

However, Whincup monstered Lowndes at the start, and was headed only during pit periods before leading Lowndes across the line for a 1-2 finish, and an eighth straight victory for TeamVodafone.

Winterbottom continued his consistent 2012 podium presence across both races, finishing second on Saturday, and third on Sunday.

FPR teammate Will Davison shadowed Winterbottom in both results, finishing a credible third on Saturday, and fifth in the second race.

Russell Ingall continued his recent run of form, with a fifth placing on Saturday topped by fourth place in the second race. The series veteran was also fastest in the Sunday practice session.

Tekno Autosports driver Jonathon Webb’s weekend started well, setting the fastest time in the second Saturday practice session, before qualifying a career-best second for the first race.

His early success deteriorated, finishing ninth on Saturday before qualifying 12th on Sunday, and ultimately finishing the second race in 17th place.

Round 9 also marked Jaques Villeneuve’s last in the series, with Greg Murphy set to return at Sandown after a successful recovery from back surgery.

The former F1 world champion capped off his lacklustre run in the series with 24th and 26th finishing results, after qualifying last for both races.

All 19 races to date in the 2012 championship have been won by Team Vodafone and FPR drivers, contributing to a gap of just 154 points between current leader Whincup and his fourth placed teammate Lowndes.

Lowndes now sits just 32 points behind third placed Davison, who has slipped to 121 points behind teammate Winterbottom.

The 2012 V8 Supercars Championship will continue with the Sandown 500 endurance race in three weeks.

Top Ten V8 Supercar Championship Series Race 19 results - Sydney Motorsport Park 360

  1. Jamie Whincup
  2. Craig Lowndes
  3. Mark Winterbottom
  4. Russell Ingall
  5. Will Davison
  6. Fabian Coulthard
  7. David Reynolds
  8. Jason Bright
  9. Garth Tander
  10. James Courtney

Top Ten V8 Supercar Championship Points Standings

  1. Jamie Whincup, 2238 pts.
  2. Mark Winterbottom, 2237 pts.
  3. Will Davison, 2116 pts.
  4. Craig Lowndes, 2084 pts.
  5. Shane Van Gisbergen, 1634 pts.
  6. Garth Tander, 1527 pts.
  7. Tim Slade, 1464 pts.
  8. Fabian Coulthard, 1432 pts.
  9. Lee Holdsworth, 1286 pts.
  10. David Reynolds, 1179 pts.

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