V8SC | Lowndes wins to focus on Championship title fight

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | WD40 Phillip Island

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

V8 Supercars | WD40 Phillip Island – Sunday

The mixed weather continued at Phillip Island for the Sunday’s V8 Supercars action. With 150 championship points up for grabs in Race 33, the story of the day would be final championship points tally as the leading drivers head into the final round at Homebush.

Overnight Shane Van Gisbergen for his part in Saturday’s incident with David Reynolds, received a 25 championship point penalty.

Qualifying Race 33

The championship contenders made the most of qualifying with points leader Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew) putting his car on pole position with Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) currently second in the championship, lined up alongside on the front row.

Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia) and Scott McLaughlin (Wilson Security Racing) set times fastest enough to make up the second row of the grid.

Race 33

Winterbottom made the most of his front row start to move into the early lead of the race with McLaughlin launching from the second row to slot into second place in the opening laps which moved Lowndes back to third.

Behind it was a chaotic opening lap, several cars sporting damage. Cameron Waters (Pepsi Max Crew) pitted for urgent repairs although all the cars continued without issue.

Strategy played a key part in the result with teams needing to complete two pit stops to during the race.

Whincup dived into the pits on the opening lap to avoid any stacking issues that would affect his Lowndes championship title fight. This allowed for slick pit stops from the Red Bull Racing Australia Crew to move Lowndes into the lead, passing both Winterbottom and McLaughlin in pit lane.

Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Lowndes would push on to take out the win, over Volvo’s McLaughlin. In true teammate spirit, Whincup helped Lowndes out even further by diving down the inside of Winterbottom on the third last corner. This netted Whincup the final place on the podium which also took valuable championship points away from Winterbottom.

Championship Points

Two wins and two podiums were enough for Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia) eat into Mark Winterbottom’s (Pepsi Max Crew) championship lead. This brings the championship fight down to the final race with Winterbottom still maintaining a 179 point lead over Lowndes, with 300 points still up for grabs.

In the post-race press conference, Lowndes confirmed. “It really is a championship for Winterbottom to lose. With a 179-point lead, as long as he drives smart and clean and keeps out of trouble, he should have enough of a point’s gap to walk away with the #1. (2016 Championship title)”

Lowndes continued with “But we won’t stop fighting until the chequered flag on Sunday.”

David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) is now out of the title hunt with a terrible weekend to stand 319 points behind teammate Winterbottom.

Keep tuned into MyDrive as the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship concludes on the streets Homebush in Sydney in two weeks.

Championship Coverage

Join us for the FINAL ROUND of 2015 – V8 Supercars action continues in two weeks at the Coates Hire 500 around the streets of Homebush in Sydney 4th – 6th December, 2015.

For weekend V8 Supercars coverage, subscribe and follow MyDrive.

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For details on the V8 Supercars Championship, click > www.v8supercars.com.au

For Foxtel coverage details, click > www.foxtel.com.au

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