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Kiwis third, and fourth as Slade takes back-to-back victories

Tim Slade backed up his Saturday scorcher to take back-to-back wins at Winton Motor Raceway. Prodrive Racing driver Mark Winterbottom took second after holding out a spirited challenge by Kiwi Fabian Coulthard who took third. 

 

With Mostert and Coulthard yet to take wins in 2016, the pair were in prime position to put themselves in position to become the 10th different winner of the season.

 

Coulthard appeared to jump the start, but was subsequently cleared of any misdemeanour.

 

Mostert took a hit from Shane van Gisbergen, moments later nearly venturing off the road at turn three. Dale Wood was the first to go off road

 

Van Gisbergen, Winterbottom and Courtney took their mandatory fuel dump on lap one. Mostert followed suit a lap later, taking fuel and tyres. The Prodrive racing Australia driver returned to the circuit at the back of the field but in clear air.

 

Cameron Water began to suffer on lap four as he began to lose spots to Whincup, Tander and Pye. Soon after, Jason Bright took advantage of Waters slow pace.

 

Waters lost a further three positions the same lap as Kelly, Blanchard and Moffat blasted by. Clearly struggling, Waters took to pit lane to avoid suffering further.

 

Shane van Gisbergen made up lost position on Courtney, pushing his way past at turn four, the HRT driver running slightly wide.

 

After starting 15th, Kiwi Chris Pither received a pit-lane-penalty for exceeding the speed limit.

 

After 10 laps, Coulthard led the field from Slade, McLaughlin, Caruso, Whincup, Tander, Pye, Bright, Blanchard and Percat. Pole sitter Mostert ran on an alternative strategy putting him down in 12th.

 

With pit strategy playing a significant part, pit stops littered the early stage of the race. However, Coulthard and Slade stayed out and began to lose time to those behind who had already pitted.

 

On lap 18, the pair pitted. Slade usurped Coulthard in the lane. Just moments later though the safety car was deployed as Lee Holdsworth’s Holden Commodore stopped on the run dwon to turn four.

 

Many of those who’d already pitted took to the lane again as they looked to take their required fuel load. As the pit stops cycled through, Rick Kelly led from Slade, Coulthard, Davison, and McLaughlin.

 

The restart was clean from the field, no notable incidents taking place through the opening set of corners. Kelly looked to come under pressure from Slade midway through the lap, but it was Will Davison taking advantage of Coulthard to pass the Kiwi on the final corner.

 

Mostert came to blows with Courtney on the restart, the Prodriver Racing driver suffering suspension damage, Mosterts race effectively over.

 

Just two laps later and Kelly made a mistake at the third-to-last corner, allowing the Brad Jones Racer through to the lead.

Coulthard fought back to pass Davison on lap 26, but Slade had already streaked ahead to lead by over two seconds.

 

Pitting to get out of the midpack kerfuffle, Lowndes, Winterbottom and Pye took the the pit lane to take extra fuel. The drama continued as Craig Lowndes got sent off by Mark Winterbottom at turn four. Lowndes lost time dramatically and position to Pye.

 

Whilst Slade streaked ahead, Coulthard began to hound Kelly. Turn four continued to be a hotspot for action as the Kiwi passed Kelly for second place, beginning his charge to catch Slade.

 

Triple Eight Race Engineering teammates van Gisbergen and Lowndes traded blows, the Kiwi prevailing in the battle that saw the Red Bull driver take 18th.

 

Brad Jones Racing driver Jason Bright looped his Commodore while trying to pass Scott McLaughlin at turn seven. Bright spun the wheels, narrowly avoiding contact with the drivers behind.

 

Lap 40, and Slade pitted from the lead. Slade returned to the the foray with a one second lead over the effective second place sitter Winterbottom. Four laps later, Coulthard pitted from the lead, dropping him down to seventh ahead of teammate Pye.

 

Pole sitter Chaz Mostert’s day went from bad to worse when he spun on his own looking to pass Bright at turn one.

 

Coulthard made up a spot on fellow countryman van Gisbergen, allowing Coulthard through to third. On lap 55, Coulthard hounded the back of Winterbottom for second, but the Kiwi struggled to make his way past despite his apparent pace.

Whilst Slade cleared out ahead, Coulthard continued to push Winterbottom

 

Ultimately thought Winterbottom held on for second as Slade cleared out ahead to take back-to-back wins at Winton Motor Raceway. Coulthard completed the podium in third, whilst van Gisbergen and Waters. 

 

Results: 

1. Tim Slade

2. Mark Winterbottom

3. Fabian Coulthard

4. Shane van Gisbergen

5. Cameron Waters

6. David Reynolds

7. Scott Pye

8. Craig Lowndes

9. Jamie Whincup

10. Michael Caruso 

 

Photo: DJR Team Penske

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