Will Davison has ended the 2012 V8 Supercar Championship series by winning the final race of the season in Sydney, and completing TeamVodafone and Ford Performance Racing’s joint dominance of the series.
Of the 30 championship races this year, all have been won by either Jamie Whincup (12 wins), Craig Lowndes (7), Mark Winterbottom (3), or Will Davison (8).
With 12 race wins and 3861 points under his belt, Whincup also officially claimed the 2012 championship victory in Sydney, after entering the round with an unassailable points lead.
Whincup therefore had a relatively relaxed approach to the weekend, and slipped from second to 11th on the Saturday after giving priority to teammate Lowndes during their second pit stops, before fighting back to fifth - a result he matched on Sunday.
Saturday’s race was eventually claimed by Lowndes, but it took a second placing on Sunday to cement his position beneath Whincup in the championship.
Lowndes’ championship result had been threatened by a 25 point penalty, handed down after the Saturday race due to contact with Garth Tander, which put him 22 points behind Winterbottom ahead of the Sunday race.
First corner contact with James Moffatt pushed Winterbottom to the back of the field on Sunday, with a mid-race puncture contributing to his eventual 18th placing - helping Lowndes to a final 65-point lead.
The tight Homebush circuit conspired with near-40 degree heat to create several bizarre situations among the drivers, kicked off by Shane Van Gisbergen’s clash with a following Medical car on Lap 1 after contact with the wall led to steering failure..
Van Gisbergen had similar misfortune on the Sunday - this time clutch failure ending his race before completing the first lap of his final appearance in the category.
Alexandre Premat looked set for a top ten finish after qualifying a season-best third on the Saturday, but succumbed to the heat on Lap 60, after apparently switching off his cool suit.
Premat was replaced for the Sunday race by the freshly-crowned 2012 Dunlop Series victor Scott McLaughlin, who finished a credible 17th in the 74 lap race.
This last minute substitution has raised the suggestion of of a full-time drive for the 19-year-old with Gary Rogers Motorsport next year.
Another victim of the Saturday heat was the right boot of David Reynolds, who was forced to pit for a replacement boot after melting the sole of his first against his car’s uninsulated interior.
The Saturday race’s finishing order was largely determined by fuel economy, with James Courtney forced to concede second place to Tim Slade four laps from the finish as he conserved fuel - one of many forced to do so in the fuel-thirsty heat.
Courtney repeated this third placing on the Sunday, having lost second place to Lowndes during the second round of pitstops.
Slade enjoyed an impressive end to his season, scoring his V8 career-first pole position for the Saturday race, before finishing second and fourth across the races.
Series veteran Greg Murphy concluded his disastrous 2012 season with two DNF results - through steering failure on the Saturday, and ending in the wall at the hands of Michael Patrizi on the Sunday.
Murphy is yet to secure a full-time drive for 2013, so this could form an unceremonious end to his successful V8 Supercar series career.
Final championship standings see Lowndes finish 339 points behind Whincup, with Winterbottom a further 65 points behind Lowndes, though 408 points ahead of teammate Davison.
Van Gisbergen’s disastrous weekend saw Tim Slade inherit his previous fifth standing, with Slade finishing 236 points ahead of his Stone Brothers Racing teammate.
This Homebush round also marked the end for V8 Supercars in their current formula, ahead of moving to the Car of The Future control-chassis regulations, which will also welcome Nissan and Mercedes-Benz based entries from Kelly Racing/Nissan Motorsport and Stone Brothers/Erebus Racing.
The 2013 V8 Supercar Championship will kick off with the Clipsal 500 on the Adelaide street circuit from Feb 28-March 3 next year.
Top Ten V8SC Series Race 30 results - Homebush Street Circuit
- Will Davison
- Craig Lowndes
- James Courtney
- Tim Slade
- Jamie Whincup
- Jonathon Webb
- David Reynolds
- Steve Owen
- Jason Bright
- Steven Johnson
Top Ten Final V8SC Points Standings
- Jamie Whincup 3861
- Craig Lowndes 3522
- Mark Winterbottom 3457
- Will Davison 3049
- Tim Slade 2790
- Shane Van Gisbergen 2554
- Garth Tander 2462
- Lee Holdsworth 2189
- David Reynolds 2187
- James Courtney 2153