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Whincup wins to take title.

Team Vodafone driver Jamie Whincup clinched the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship in style by winning the first race of the weekend at Oran Park.

Whincup, who held a healthy lead over Mark Winterbottom going into the weekend, needed to finish in the top six to lift the crown but took the win ahead of team-mate Craig Lowndes as Team Vodafone also lifted the teams' title.

Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander, who started the race on pole, was deemed to have jumped the start and was handed a ten-second penalty, which he served on top of his compulsory pit stop.

Before Tander was told of his penalty however, he and Whincup swapped the lead in the first few corners.

Whincup came off second best, and he later admitted that he probably shouldn't have done it but couldn't resist the chance to fight for the lead.

Tander's penalty dropped him down the race order, leaving Whincup to lead for the second half of the race and he duly secured the crown in the best possible way.

“I don't cry, I'm a racing driver and an Aussie bloke,” he said. “We don't cry.

“The feeling is as good as I imagined. Over the last two weeks people were telling me it was going to happen, but to finally get over the line is unbelievable.”

Lowndes finished second ahead of Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall – taking the place on lap 39.

Elsewhere, Tander's team-mate Mark Skaife, who retires from fulltime driving at the end of this round, clashed with Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom in pitlane during their pit stops.

The incident bent the steering arm of Winterbottom's car and also damaged Skaife's car, forcing them both into their pit garage.

Both drivers ended up getting their cars back out for the race, but Winterbottom's run at Oran Park went from bad to worse as he was given a ten-second pit lane penalty for the incident and for selecting reverse gear in pit lane.

But Tander, who returned to the race in 11th spot after serving his penalty for jumping the start, managed to claw his way back to finish the race in sixth.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jamie Whincup, (aust) Team Vodafone 888 Ford  NRMA Grand Finale Rd 14 V8 Supercars Oran Park Sydney NSW
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit Red Bull]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia [pic credit V8 Supercars]

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