2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - Race


From pole position Garth Tander stalled allowing Steven Richards to lead early. Later Tander was also assigned a ten second penalty for jumping the start as well. The Penalty was served at the car's first pitstop. Into Griffins Bend on the opening lap Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy touched, giving the Holden slight damage which caused Murphy to pit on lap four. James Courtney raced through to dominate the opening stint. Craig Lowndes gave chase with Will Davison settling in to chase with Max Wilson and Russell Ingall leading the Holden charge while Steven Richards and Rick Kelly (starting Paul Dumbrell's Commodore) slid backwards.

Starting with Jack Perkins on lap 15 cars started to appear in the pits with a failed left rear tyre. Delaminations were to strike the entire field throughout the day, with the cars of Will Davison, Todd Kelly and Lee Holdsworth worst affected of the front runners. Kayne Scott was the first retirement on lap eight, the hastily repaired Team Kiwi Racing Falcon was four-five seconds behind the pace and effectively unraceable. The second retirement was on 40 when Andrew Jones spun the Brad Jones Racing Commodore into the wall at Griffin's Bend. Jones limped the car back to the pits without bothering the safety car. By this stage Rick Kelly was out of contention, with the same sticking throttle that caused the #15 car to crash on Saturday starting to blight the #16 car.

A slowly deflating tyre (originally diagnosed as a damaged anti-roll bar) slowed David Besnard's stint in James Courtney's car allowing Jamie Whincup to assert dominance over the field in the second stint. The first safety car occurred on lap 73, after Todd Kelly spun his Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore across the Chase dumped sandtrap debris across the most delicate corner of the circuit. Marshals worked to clean the corner and get the race quickly back under way. The third safety car was called about 15 laps later when Michael Patrizi spun the Ford Rising Stars Falcon at Murray's Corner. Just after the restart Jonathan Webb put the second Stone Brothers Racing Falcon into the sandtrap at McPhillamy Park after striking the wall exiting the previous corner, becoming the race's third retirement. Lowndes pitted for Whincup's second stint at this point. With a safety car having s recently occurred Whincup was buried, emerging back into the field in 17th position. Will Davison moved into the lead at this point that he would hold until lap 98 when he pitted. Greg Murphy led for a single lap before pitting for Jason Richards, handing the lead to Max Wilson. Wilson lead until the next safety car on lap 106 when he pitted for Brad Jones and Jamie Whincup resumed the lead.

By this stage Mark Skaife had removed the lead Holden Racing Team Commodore from contention, wiping the car's nose across the Forrests Elbow wall. A safety car on lap 128 caused the majority of the field to pit, putting David Besnard back into the lead until his final stop for James Courtney on lap 137. Two rapid safety cars occurred shortly afterwards, first after Lee Holdsworth's Commodore stopped in the Cutting, then at the restart a touch between Craig Baird, who had just been unsettled by another car passing him at Griffin's Bend, and Warren Luff in the second Jim Beam Racing Falcon, put Baird into the wall. Luff was given a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident. Russell Ingall also dropped out at roughly this point with power steering failure.

At the lap 147 restart Lowndes led from Steven Richards and Greg Murphy. Tucked in behind were Max Wilson and James Courtney ahead of Tony D'Alberto, Fabian Coulthard, Warren Luff (about to pit for his penalty), Jason Bright and Luke Youlden. Courtney, on fresh tyres and cut through the pack and on lap 153 ducked under Max Wilson at Forrests Elbow for fourth place. Murphy, while faster than Richards was unable to get by, allowing Lowndes to build a comfortable buffer. On lap 158 Murphy finally moved into second position at Hell Corner and set off after Lowndes. Two laps later, Richards, fading badly on rear tyres was unable to stop Courtney move into third place. The gaps stabilised over the final laps and Lowndes took a two second victory, earning himself and Jamie Whincup their third consecutive victory, a feat not managed since Peter Brock and Larry Perkins took their third consecutive win in the 1984 James Hardie 1000.

Behind Murphy and Courtney, Steven Richards hung onto fourth position ahead of Max Wilson. Tony D'Alberto spun into the Griffins Bend wall on the second last lap, becoming the races final retirement. Will Davison climbed back into sixth position after a late race tyre delamination had removed him lead battle. Luke Youlden completed a good team result for Ford Performance Racing in seventh ahead of Jack Perkins and Jason Bright. Fabian Coulthard dropped to tenth after having to make a pitstop for fuel with two laps to go. Warren Luff was the final car to complete full race distance in eleventh.

Garth Tander limped home in twelfth place ahead of Mark Noske, Marcus Marshall and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Two of the hardest hit by tyre delaminations, Steve Ellery and Todd Kelly finished 16th and 17th and were the last fit cars home. Ingall limped his car home for some championship points ahead of Patrizi, while Rick Kelly and Dumbrell were classified in 20th position after the team rebuilt the throttle linkages, having lost 34 laps.

The race victory vaulted Whincup back into the championship lead he lost after crashing out of the Hamilton 400 in April. Tander's twelfth place finish helped to minimise the points loss but dropped to third place behind Mark Winterbottom.

Read more about this topic:  2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

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