Whincup streaks to 99th Supercars win

Holden’s Jamie Whincup has overcome a late safety car drama to win Saturday’s 200km Supercars race at Townsville.

Whincup, who claimed his first pole position of the year earlier in the afternoon, was unstoppable for most of the 70-lap race, opening up a six-second lead with five laps to go.

Steering failure for Holden driver Nick Percat on lap 65 brought out the safety car and compressed the field for a two-lap sprint to the line.

Whincup, however, kept two lapped cars between him and his rivals at the restart, using them as a buffer to maintain his lead to the finish line.

It’s the six-time series champion’s eighth win at the Reid Park street circuit, more than double the number of victories at the venue than any other driver.

It’s also Whincup’s 99th career victory.

Red Bull Racing teammate Shane Van Gisbergen finished second, with defending series champion Mark Winterbottom coming home third.

Holden veteran Craig Lowndes’ poor record at Townsville continued, with the 42-year-old finishing 12th.

Percat’s failure to finish also meant 18-year-old Kurt Kostecki came home 25th in his first Supercars start.

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