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Lowndes takes Winton win

Jamie Whincup has seen his advantage in the V8 Supercar Championship standings dented after an uncharacteristic pit-stop error left him down in 13th place, well behind winner Craig Lowndes.

A second win of the weekend for Lowndes at Winton Motor Raceway, Whincup followed his Vodafone Ford team-mate in the early stages but got stuck behind him in the pit-lane when Lowndes was delayed himself.

However, Lowndes had gambled on the new Dunlop Sport Maxx Sprint tyre, one that saw him work his way back to the front. It would earn him the win from Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom and Toll Holden Racing Team's Tander.

Lowndes surprised the field when he came out of pit lane for the second race on the same yellow tyres he finished on yesterday. His was the only car that used the soft tyre at length in the previous race and then came out on the same the next day.

Within three laps Lowndes passed the field and his team-mate Whincup. Hot on his tail was Autobarn Racing's Paul Dumbrell who started on the soft tyres in fifth and was quickly into second behind Lowndes.

Sprint Gas Racing's Greg Murphy went from 20th to ninth within five laps. Likewise Jim Beam Racing's Steve Johnson went from 18th to sixth in six laps.

Dumbrell passed Lowndes on lap eight to take the lead after the pair pulled a massive gap on the rest of the field. The rest was down to strategy and luck that there was no safety car before they changed tyres to ruin the advantage they had built.

The safety car came but Dumbrell still had advantage as he had pitted when many others didn't. But Dumbrell faded late in the race and was hauled in by Lowndes, Winterbottom and Tander.

Whincup was again the man in Armor All qualifying, the 20 minute Sunday dash to set the grid for the afternoon race. He sat on Armor All pole ahead of Winterbottom, Lowndes and Tander who fought back from yesterday when he suffered from accidents out of his control.

For the second day running Whincup was not on the first step of the podium and in fact finished a midfield 13th today giving the chasers hope of bridging a gap that is 114 points to second (Will Davison) and 300 points to sixth (Garth Tander).


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