Rookie Jonathon Webb scored an amazing first career win in a bizarre race one of the Australian V8 Supercar doubleheader on the streets of Homebush which saw all three championship contenders aquaplane into the wall on lap 60.
The race turned upside down when the three championship contenders Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney and Jamie Whincup, running 1-2-3, decided, along with the rest of the field, to remain on slicks as the race restarted on lap 60.
A track which had been somewhat wet before the safety car period was now undriveable on slicks as the leaders found out, all three slamming into the wall at the Turn 5 sweeper on lap 60, with many of the drivers behind following suit.
All three cars had broken right-front suspension, and limped back to the pits. Courtney returned to the track with a couple of minutes to spare, Whincup returned after the leader had started his final lap on a timed race while Winterbottom never left the pits.
Courtney was classified 15th, while Whincup was one lap back but not classified a finisher, possibly starting his single lap after the race had effectively finished, the decision to declare him a non-finisher all but ending his title hopes.
All the chaos meant that Jonathon Webb was the leader as the race restarted on lap 65, the race eventually only running another four laps due to a time-certain finish. He just held on on the final lap as Jason Bright, who had started from pit lane, chased him down but ended a lap or two short of being able to make a challenge.
Rick Kelly was third, with Steven Johnson fourth and Bundaberg Red Racing's Fabian Coulthard completing the top five. The two Fujitsu Racing cars of Michael Caruso and Lee Holdsworth were next with Coulthard's teammate Andrew Thompson eighth and the last car on the final lap, only 15 of the 29 starters declared finishers.
Neither Holden Racing Team car made the finish, which made a bad day even worse after a poor qualifying was followed by both drivers receiving drive-through penalties for separate incidents on cars from their sister team Bundaberg Red Racing.
With one race and 150 points remaining, Courtney leads the championship by 113 points over Whincup, with Winterbottom 263 points behind and out of the title hunt. A 22nd-place finish will be enough to secure Courtney the title even if Whincup wins the race. Conversely, Whincup needs to finish fourth or higher to have any possibility of taking the title away from Courtney.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG 2h09m06.9995s
2. Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 + 0.6375s
3. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 + 6.6071s
4. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 9.9613s
5. Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE + 12.1441s
6. Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 + 19.0878s
7. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE2 + 26.7878s
8. Andrew Thompson Holden Commodore VE2 + 1m02.4793s
9. Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE2 + 1 lap
10. Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG + 1 lap
11. Steven Richards Ford Falcon FG + 2 laps
12. Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 + 2 laps
13. Tony D'Alberto Holden Commodore VE2 + 2 laps
14. Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG + 4 laps
15. James Courtney Ford Falcon FG + 7 laps
Driver Make Laps
Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 61
Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 60
Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 60
Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 60
Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 59
Will Davison Holden Commodore VE2 59
Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 59
Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 59
Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VE2 59
Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 57
Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 53
Tony Ricciardello Holden Commodore VE2 33
Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE2 15
Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE 5