Ford drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup took a hat-trick of wins in Australia’s biggest race the Bathurst 100 at Mount Panorama. The Team Vodafone/Triple Eight team hit the front early in the race and despite a late race challenge from Holden driver Greg Murphy hung on to win by just under three seconds after 1000 kms of racing.
Third place was the Stone Brothers Racing Falcon of James Courtney and David Besnard who passed the FPV car of Steven Richards and Mark Winterbottom with only a handful of laps remaining.
Courtney was one of the fastest drivers at the end of the race but he just failed to catch Murphy who again showed his class at Bathurst.
It was a big weekend for the team of Max Wilson and Brad Jones who returned to top level V8 Supercar competition with an excellent fifth place.
Sixth place was the Dick Johnson Racing Falcon of Will Davison and Steven Richards. The Jim Beam sponsored Falcon was hindered by a number of strange tyre de-lamination problems that effected several competitors.
V8 Supercar development series driver Dean Canto and Luke Youlden again showed their quality with a fine seventh place.
Jack Perkins and Bathurst specialist Nathan Pretty brought their Jack Daniels Commodore home in eighth place with the Ford pair of former winner Jason Bright and his team-mate Adam Macrow in ninth.
Fabian Coulthard and Alex Davison in the Paul Cruickshank Racing Falcon rounded out the top ten after a late race splash and dash cost them a top five finish
The race got off to a sensational start as the pole sitting Commodore of Garth Tander and Mark Skaife stalled as the red lights went out. It was a nervous wait for Tander as he sat in the car waiting for the field who all managed to go around him without incident.
Tander then set about working his way back through the field before co-driver Skaife touched the wall after suffering a power steering problem dropping the Holden Racing Team machine back trough the field.
Similar problems afflicted the Supercheap Auto car of Russell Ingall and Paul Morris who were also in contention for a top three finish.
It was a mixed race for the small international contingent, the Triple Eight pair of BTCC champ Fabrizio Giovanardi and Matt Hynes were running in the top ten late in the race before Giovanardi was turned around by a tap in the rear sending him back to the pits for repairs and dropping them off the lead lap. They eventually recovered to finish in 16th place.
Things didn’t go quite as well for NASCAR driver Boris Said and BTCC star Matt Neal, the pair struggled all weekend and their race ended early when Neal put the car in the sand on lap 140.
Only 20 cars were classified as finishers out of an initial field of 27.