Lowndes takes V8s race win

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Lowndes takes V8s race win

Craig Lowndes could be Mark Winterbottom’s last V8 Supercars challenger standing after a stunning victory on Phillip Island.

Lowndes burst from the second row of the grid to grab the lead and win Saturday’s first sprint.

He finished ahead of Red Bull Racing teammate Jamie Whincup and Volvo man Scott McLaughlin in a race that shook up the championship standings.

Series leader Winterbottom fell away from his grid position of fifth to cross in seventh, after his garage made a late decision to change the engine inside his Ford Falcon.

Fellow title-chaser David Reynolds was nudged off the track by Shane Van Gisbergen, ending his hopes of gaining ground on Winterbottom.

Reynolds took last place and drops behind Lowndes in the championship standings as a result.

The victory is Lowndes’ 10th at the coastal circuit, making him the all-time venue leader and just 213 points behind Winterbottom.

Stewards will conduct a post-race investigation on Van Gisbergen’s drive, which Reynolds’ team boss Rod Nash called a “stupid driving desperation move”.

At the front, it was plain sailing for the first three, with an ominous seven-second gap between McLaughlin and fourth-placed Shane Van Gisbergen suggesting the result could be similar in Saturday’s second race scheduled for 4:55pm.

McLaughlin will start from pole in the second sprint ahead of Whincup and the three title-chasers.

V8 SUPERCARS RESULTS

RACE 31 RESULT

1. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

2. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

3. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

4. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)

5. James Moffat (Nissan)

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) – 2827

2. Craig Lowndes (Holden) – 2614

3. David Reynolds (Ford) – 2555

4. Garth Tander (Holden) – 2342

5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden) – 2329

RACE 32 GRID

1. Scott McLaughlin (Volvo)

2. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

3. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

4. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

5. David Reynolds (Ford)

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