2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Bathurst 1000
Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde
V8 Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 | Sunday
The second largest crowd on record, 201,416 fans, lined the fences of the Mt Panorama circuit for the 2015 edition of the “Great Race”. However with mixed conditions throughout the day, fans would be kept guessing as to the result of the race until the final laps.
The race started with a clean start as Dean Canto (No. 55 Bottle-O Racing) fended off Scott McLaughlin (No. 33 Wilson Security Racing) to take the early lead from pole position. However McLaughlin would hustle from second place to take the lead on the third lap.
The safety car would make its first appearance of the day when David Wall’s Volvo (No. 34 Wilson Security Racing) blew an engine on the run down the mountain dropping oil on the track. Renee Gracie (No. 200 Harvey Norman Supergirls) was unfortunately the first on the scene, caught off by the oil and crashing at Forrest Elbow.
The Harvey Norman ‘Supergirls’ entry would make it back to the pits for repairs before resuming the race, several laps off the pace.
On Lap 38 in a hard fought battle, the No. 3 Cooldrive Racing Holden Commodore of Tim Blanchard and Karl Reindler helped the No. 111 Super Black Racing Ford Falcon of Andre Heimgartner and Ant Pederson into the wall on the run up Mountain Straight. Blanchard received a drive through penalty while the crash would end the day for Super Black Racing.
The No. 5 Pepsi Max Crew Ford Falcon of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen received a black flag car for an issue with their brake lights. Because they took a few laps longer to pit than usually allowed to resolve the issue, they received a further penalty.
Tussles continued with the No. 9 Penrite/Erebus Motorsport Mercedes of Will and Alex Davison helping Oliver Gavin in the No. 222 Repair Management Australia Holden into the wall at Forrest Elbow. Davison received a penalty for his part while Gavin make it back to the pits to complete repairs.
Tim Blanchard’s troubles were set to continue in the No. 3 Cooldrive Racing Commodore by hitting the wall at Reid Park on Lap 80 putting him out of the race.
At the midway point of the race it was Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell in the No. 1 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden in the lead from No. 888 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden of Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards followed by the No. 97 Darrell Lea/ Tekno Autosports Holden of Shane Van Gisbergen and Jonathan Webb.
Images by Rhys Vandersyde
The expected rain arrived on lap 91 with a heavy but short downpour that forced the fans to duck for cover and every car on the track to jump into pit lane for wet tyres as the rain continued on and off for the next 30 laps.
With 25 laps to go and one pit stop left to get to the end, the No. 55 Bottle-O Racing Ford of David Reynolds and Dean Canto held on to the lead while fending off the No. 5 Pepsi Max Crew Ford of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen. The No. 888 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden of Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards were also looking racing and certainly in the mix in third.
However the Safety Car would make another appearance when the No. 17 Xbox One/DJR Team Penske of Scott Pye and Marcus Ambrose fell victim of the infamous grate at Reid Park. Colliding heavily with the wall and ending their race.
Almost the entire field dived into pit lane to complete their final stop however Jamie Whincup in the No. 1 Red Bull Holden decided to skip pit lane. In a terrible twist for the team however, he also managed to drive past the Safety Car earning him a penalty when the race resumed.
With a slick pit stop by the No. 888 Red Bull Holden Team, Craig Lowndes emerged in lead of the race while the fight was on for the remaining places in the top ten.
Lowndes cleared off into the lead to take the win while Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 Pepsi Max Crew) and Garth Tander would benefit from the tussle for the minor placings taking out second and third.
The win makes Steven Richards a four time winner and Craig Lowndes a six time winner at “The Mountain” to equal the achievements of Mark Skaife and Larry Perkins.
After his win Lowndes said “As the day went on the car got better – Richo did an amazing job”
“I had to make up for last year… thanks to all the boys from Red Bull and this man here (Richards) has been sensational.”
The V8 Supercars Championship continues in 2 weeks on the streets of the Gold Coast in Queensland with the final round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup from 23rd – 25th October, 2015.
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