Photo: Triple Eight

Jamie Whincup leads a Triple Eight 1-2 at Townsville

Jamie Whincup completed a strong first Townsville race to lead a Triple Eight Race Engineering 1-2 ahead of team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, with both overtaking pole-sitter and championship leader Scott McLaughlin.

DJR Team Penske driver McLaguhlin claimed the start from pole but it was not long until Whincup performed a neat pass at Turn 1 on the Ford driver to claim the lead.

Van Gisbergen made his way past McLaughlin during the pit stop with a slightly faster stop to get out ahead by a couple of centimetres.

Instead McLaughlin had to watch out for Craig Lowndes, who announced his retirement from full-time racing recently, who got closer and closer. Lowndes was not able to get past and had to defend from McLaughlin’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard who finished fifth just eight tenths of a second behind.

David Reynolds, who briefly was second at the start of the race, finished seventh for Erebus Motorsport behind Mark Winterbottom while Cameron Waters rounded off the top eight for Tickford Racing.

There was one safety car session during the race, on lap 55, to remove debris on track.

The race ended with an incident between Walkinshaw Andretti United driver James Courtney and Tekno Autosports driver Jack Le Brocq. The two fought for 18th position as the incident saw Le Brocq hitting the wall and dropping to 22nd position while Courtney was able to continue to finish 18th.

McLaughlin is still comfortably on top of the standings with van Gisbergen second, 152 points behind, Reynolds third 360 points behind and Whincup fourth, 412 points behind.