There were a mere three safety car periods in the race, which is not bad going for the Adelaide enduro. The first came on lap eight with GRM's Michael Caruso hitting the wall. The caution period lasted until lap twelve, and then the following green period was arrested two laps later by Michael Patrizi accomplishing a similar feat. Paul Dumbrell's Autobahn Racing Commodore was assisted into the wall and to a halt on lap 44, but pushed back into action to free the track from yellows.
Mark Winterbottom also suffered problems and finished down in 18th after contact with Shane van Gisbergen at turn four late on.
“We can't do much about turn four I guess; it's one of those things and I just hope I've got it out my system!” he said, referring to his penalty in qualifying. “The first I knew of Shane was when he was hitting the back of my car. He must have come from a fair way back because I had a pretty good run at the corner. It's hard to pass there so I reckon he would have been struggling to pull it up. Put two-on-two there and it normally ends up in a collision.
“I felt fine all the way through the race, but the car balance wasn't good after we stopped. The car was strong early on but we did something in the stop that made it more of a struggle.”
Unlike previous seasons, the Clipsal's second race will feature the same grid as Friday's qualifying line-up rather than having position determined by race one results. As McConville mused, 'the only other championship where that happens is in World Superbikes, and they can go four abreast into a corner.' It'll be another tough 78 laps in Adelaide.
For Whincup, starting on pole, it could be a rather easier race than today's, as long as he makes a clean start. However, given the evidence of today's race, even if Whincup had to start from McConville's bog-last position, you wouldn't bet too much on him not being able to make it on to the podium…