Whincup wins rain halted Race 37

Whincup wins rain-shortened Race 37
Jamie Whincup wins rain-shortened Race 37 in Sydney. Photo: V8 Supercars Media

Jamie Whincup took full points in Race 37 at the Sydney NRMA after a torrential downpour left the race to finish under full course yellows.

Champion-elect, Whincup was leading the pack when the treacherous conditions forced V8 Supercars to suspend Saturday’s second race 19 laps into the 37-lap encounter.

The 125km race was suspended for around 20 minutes, but restarted on lap 20 under the Safety Car with just seven minutes remaining before the race reached its time cut-off. With rain still falling, the race was concluded under safety car conditions after 23 laps, giving Whincup his second win of the day, finishing ahead of Shane van Gisbergen and Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin. With over 50% of the race completed full points were awarded.

Starting from fourth Whincup survived minor contact with polesitter Jason Bright and Scott McLaughlin to emerge in the top spot as the cars ran four-wide into the first corner.

Behind, Bright held second ahead of McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen, but the Tekno Autosports driver took third just a lap later at Turn 11, while Whincup surged away from the field.

As drivers began to report small raindrops on the windscreen, Todd Kelly was the first to blink, pitting for wet weather tyres on lap 13, followed by Craig Lowndes a lap later.

With light rain falling, Whincup made his call to pit at the end of lap 15, exiting just as the downpour commenced. Whincup returned in the lead after the full pit-stop cycle ahead of van Gisbergen following an off for theTeam BOC Commodore at Turn 9 which dropped Bright to fourth.

With torrential rain hitting the circuit, David Wall remained the only man on slicks but the #16 Wilson Security Racing Falcon slid into the Turn 2 wall, bringing out the Safety Car on lap 18 and then the red-flag a lap later.

At the start of the race Marcos Ambrose’s Xbox Ford was tipped into a spin by Craig Lowndes at the first corner followed up with a tap from Jack Perkins in the Team Jeld-Wen entry, but with only minor damage Ambrose pushed on to finish 21st at the conclusion of the race.

Only one place ahead in 20th, Lowndes dropped to fourth in the championship 26 points behind van Gisbergen with just Sunday’s final race of the season remaining.

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