The Holden Racing Team scored a perfect result in race two of the second race of the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge at Sandown Raceway, with Garth Tander leading home teammate Will Davison for a one-two result.
Tander used the sprint tires well at the start of the race and led comfortably after the first round of pit stops. A mid-race safety fell almost perfectly for him just after he pitted, and when Tony D'Alberto pitted when the safety car came out again a few laps later, he was never headed.
But in the closing laps he came under pressure from teammate Davison, who did well in the opening laps before losing places at the first stop. However, at the second pit stop he gained some of that ground back, and struggles and moments for some of the other frontrunners along with a couple of passes almost got him another win.
Whincup also moved up and down the order on his way to third, losing ground to sprint tire runners in the opening laps, vaulting up the order after the first pit stop, then losing most of the places when he was forced to wait for other cars exiting during his second stop, chasing Davison most of the way home.
Next in the queue were a trio of drivers who must have wondered after their second and final pitstops where they would finish. Restarting on lap 32 of 65 in 16th, 19th and 22nd, Cameron McConville, Craig Lowndes and Jason Richards stormed through the order in the second half of the race. McConville and Richards used the sprint tires to help them along, while Lowndes was on the standard control tire. One place further back and just behind Richards was Tony D'Alberto on the sprint tire, charging from 21st to 7th in the final 25 laps.
James Courtney was one of the drivers to lose ground in the second half of the race after running in the top five, losing three places with a lock up on lap 37 on his way to eighth, with Jason Bargwanna and Paul Dumbrell completing the top 10.
Lee Holdsworth's decision to use partly-used sprint tires for the second half of the race initially looked like paying off, making a move for second with 15 laps remaining. But he ran wide and immediately lost three places, his pace fading soon after as his tires wore, eventually dropping to 11th.
Even quicker than his fall down the order was Rick Kelly's, the car he was trying to pass. With 11 laps remaining, he finally lost second place, but damaged to his front splitter meant that by race end he had dropped to 13th.
After being beaten by Will Davison in both races, Whincup's lead in the championship has been reduced to 117 points. Davison's team-mate and race two winner Garth Tander is a further 258 points behind, with Whincup's team-mate Craig Lowndes another 66 points behind Tander.RESULTS:
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE 1:27:49.5475
2. Will Davison Holden Commodore VE + 0.3500
3. Jamie Whincup Ford Falcon FG + 7.0502
4. Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VE + 10.0720
5. Craig Lowndes Ford Falcon FG + 11.7882
6. Jason Richards Holden Commodore VE + 12.8797
7. Tony D'Alberto Holden Commodore VE + 13.9659
8. James Courtney Ford Falcon FG + 16.5999
9. Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE + 19.9407
10. Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VE + 20.5875
11. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE + 23.5318
12. Steven Richards Ford Falcon FG + 26.4847
13. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 26.6527
14. Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE + 28.4911
15. Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG + 29.0733
16. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG + 29.0760
17. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG + 35.5683
18. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE + 35.9356
19. Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG + 36.8709
20. Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE + 37.2576
21. Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG + 39.7536
22. Michael Patrizi Ford Falcon BF + 50.9455
23. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE + 3 laps
24. Tim Slade Holden Commodore VE + 5 laps
Driver Make Laps
Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VE 41
Dean Fiore Holden Commodore VE 34
Mark McNally Holden Commodore VE 7
David Reynolds Holden Commodore VE 2
Shane van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 1