V8SC 2013 Round 1: Lowndes And Van Gisbergen Triumph In New V8 Era

Malcolm Flynn | Mar 4, 2013

Shane Van Gisbergen looks to be the man to beat with V8 Supercars’ new Car of the Future formula, claiming both poles and a Sunday victory in the Clipsal 500 opening round of the 2013 season.

Craig Lowndes won the Saturday race for the first of the two Holden victories at the Adelaide Street Circuit, while the best Ford result was a second place to Will Davison, also on the Saturday.

The highly anticipated addition of Nissan and AMG Mercedes-Benz to the category brought best results of 11th place for Rick Kelly’s Nissan Altima on the Saturday, and 15th place for Tim Slade’s E 63 AMG in the same race.

Craig Lowndes’ winning margin on the Saturday was more than 20 seconds ahead of second placed Will Davison, with Jamie Whincup rounding off the podium a further 12 seconds adrift.

Lowndes’ win is his 90th in the sport, and equals Mark Skaife’s all time record of 90 ATCC/V8 Supercar victories.

Van Gisbergen’s Sunday win is the first for the Holden-aligned Tekno Autosports team, and comes amid controversy surrounding his surprise return to the sport after a sudden exit from Stone Brothers/Erebus Racing the end of 2012.

The 23 year-old New Zealander led 51 of the 78 Sunday laps, and his win marks the first non-FPR or Triple Eight victory since November 2011.

Van Gisbergen’s win is the third of his V8 Supercar career, and was followed by the Triple Eight/Red Bull Racing Australia cars of Whincup and Lowndes in second and third.

This first round of the series revealed the expected teething issues among the entire field of brand new cars, and all teams were challenged by the cars facing race conditions for the first time.

Early examples were Erebus AMG Mercedes-Benz driver Maro Engel, who failed to complete the Saturday warmup lap with throttle issues, and Mark Winterbottom who lost the lead on Lap 1 with a gearbox failure.

Several others had issues with the new control transaxle, along with extreme footwell temperatures and wheel nuts that became stuck following wall contact.

Todd Kelly was black flagged on the Saturday after an oil surge produced a thick smokescreen from his Altima, while teammate Michael Caruso also lost time with power steering issues.

Electrical gremlins plagued Engel’s car throughout the weekend, and ultimately ended the Sunday race for both he and teammate Slade.

Despite this volatility throughout the field, the only Safety Car period of the round came late in the Sunday race, when Alex Davison (brother of Will) contacted the wall after Turn 8 in his FPR Falcon.

An impressive 24 cars (of 28) were classed as finishers after the Saturday race, while 17 finished on the Sunday.

Mechanical issues aside, the unique-engined Nissan and AMG Mercedes-Benz’ entries could not match their Holden or Ford counterparts for pace at this early stage of their development.

In terms of qualifiying pace, the fastest Nissan Altima driver was Michael Caruso ahead of the Saturday race, but his 1m21.6701 13th fastest time was three tenths of a second behind the 1m21.3595s of pole-sitter Shane Van Gisbergen.

Similarly, the fastest qualifying AMG Mercedes-Benz driver was Lee Holdsworth ahead of the Saturday race, with his 23rd fastest time of 1min22.1206s, more than seven tenths of a second behind Van Gisbergen.

After the first round, Craig Lowndes leads the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship with 279 points. Whincup is just 12 points behind, while Will Davison sits a further 27 points adrift.

The top-tier V8 Supercar circus will convene again in two weeks for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix non-championship meeting, at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

Casey Stoner’s Dunlop Series Debut

Freshly retired MotoGP champion Casey Stoner made his four-wheeled race debut this weekend, driving a Red Bull-Pirtek Commodore in the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series support category.

The 27 year old qualified 12th for the first of two races, within one second of the pole time of Chaz Mostert.

During the first race, he worked his way as high as 10th, before a deflated tyre caused by an earlier brake lockup caused a race-ending crash at Turn 3.

Starting from the back of the grid for the second race, Stoner showed impressive racecraft for a rookie entrant, and eventually worked his way through the field to finish 14th place.

This puts Stoner 23rd in the Dunlop championship standings after the first round, and some 225 points behind the 288 points of leader Chaz Mostert.

The Dunlop V8 Supercar Series will race again in two months, when the main V8 Supercar Championship visits the Barbagallo circuit in Western Australia for the Perth 360 event from May 3-5.

Top Ten V8SC Series Race 1 results - Adelaide

  1. Craig Lowndes
  2. Will Davison
  3. Jamie Whincup
  4. Alexandre Premat
  5. James Courtney
  6. Scott McLaughlin
  7. Garth Tander
  8. Jonathon Webb
  9. Alex Davison
  10. Russell Ingall

Top Ten V8SC Series Race 2 results - Adelaide

  1. Shane Van Gisbergen
  2. Jamie Whincup
  3. Craig Lowndes
  4. Russell Ingall
  5. Mark Winterbottom
  6. Will Davison
  7. James Courtney
  8. Tony D’Alberto
  9. Scott McLaughlin
  10. Jonathon Webb

Top Ten V8SC Points Standings

  1. Craig Lowndes 279
  2. Jamie Whincup 267
  3. Will Davison 240
  4. Russell Ingall 198
  5. James Courtney 192
  6. Scott McLaughlin 186
  7. Jonathon Webb 168
  8. Tony D’Alberto 159
  9. Shane Van Gisbergen 150
  10. Scott Pye 138

Filed under: Featured, Racing, News, motorsport, v8sc, enthusiast, v8sc 2013, clipsal 500, shane van gisbergen

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