Sport

Sydney Supercars: Whincup takes milestone victory

Sydney Supercars: Whincup takes milestone victory”

His 106th victory, achieved in a largely strategic race, pushed the six-time series victor ahead of long-term teammate and sparring partner Craig Lowndes.

Craig Lowndes has hailed Jamie Whincup as the greatest Supercars driver of the current era after his long-term rival claimed his record for most race wins in the sport.

A humble Whincup talked down his achievement after passing stablemate Lowndes to become the greatest.

"It's hard to say he's the greatest of all time as different eras have different greats".

"It was just a matter of time before he beat it. He's a great, determined driver and for as long as he puts his backside in a race vehicle he'll win races".

Van Gisbergen accepted his apology - if not his punishment.

The win came after two Kiwis - series leader McLaughlin and reigning champ Van Gisbergen - duelled to fatal effect for the race lead.

McLaughlin finished fourth on Sunday after maintaining his stunning qualifying run.

The 24-year-old claimed his seventh-straight pole to equal Whincup's all-time best season of 13 poles. McLaughlin's crude response was to be further investigated after the race.

Mostert and Coulthard waited until Lap 34 to make their second stops, the Coulthard jumping the former race leader thanks to needing a little less fuel.

On Saturday, a bump on Van Gisbergen brought a post-race penalty that left him 21st. As he exited the pits van Gisbergen came flying through Turn 1, the pair meeting at the apex of Turn 2.

Mark Winterbottom missed out on a first win of the season despite surging past polesitter McLaughlin off the line. At Turn 3 on Lap 42 that finally changed, van Gisbergen making it easy for Whincup to take over the lead.

It proved to be a timely decision, particularly in Whincup's case; moments after the #88 Holden left the pits, the Safety Car was called to clear up debris left on the front straight by Rick Kelly's spectacular tyre failure. The battle for third continued right to the flag, van Gisbergen hanging on to take the final spot on the podium over McLaughlin by less than two tenths of a second.

Whincup was let through by Van Gisbergen after auto No.88 showed superior pace, sparing the team an ugly confrontation. "We look after each other here at Red Bull", Whincup said. "It's a good feeling heading into a big endurance season".

McLaughlin led the race under safety vehicle conditions with 14 laps remaining on Saturday, having shown superior pace around the Eastern Creek circuit by claiming pole position.



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