Jamie Whincup continued his perfect start to his title defence with another faultless display on the streets of Adelaide to secure his second race win of the weekend in the Clipsal 500.

Whincup repeated his Saturday feat but the Team Vodafone driver found himself under renewed pressure from not one but two Toll Holden Racing Team cars in the blistering pace of the 78 laps.

Whincup made up for a duff start on Saturday - letting team-mate Craig Lowndes take the duff start honours instead - but come the end of the first lap it wasn't Whincup in the lead, but HRT's Garth Tander.

Tander proved to be the feistier driver and capitalised on a minor moment from Whincup ahead on the first lap, and pushed his way ahead. No sooner was the red car in the lead, however, than V8 Supercar's new Nissan GTR safety car was called into action after Jack Perkins' Dodo Racing Commodore took to the wall, and fared worst.

In temperatures significantly cooler than the heat of Saturday, once the safety car re-entered the pits the pace was soon scintillating, and the margin for error very small as a very loud train of now 29 cars snaked their way through the park in Adelaide which sets the scene for what is arguably Australia's biggest sporting event.

Mark Winterbottom's FPR was the next to suffer, with what looked like a suspect tyre issue leading to him flying off the track and on to the grass. He missed the wall, and returned to the pits, but it was not to be the start he would want to his championship as further problems through the race meant a 22nd finishing position come race end, to add to his 18th of Saturday.

Up front Tander and Whincup traded fastest laps as Will Davison in the second HRT car passed first Fabian Coulthard in the Wilson Security racing Falcon, and then Jason Richards in the Team BOC Commodore to stake his claim as one to watch in the race.

By the time the lap tally entered double figures, the lead duo were 2.5 seconds to the good from third placed Paul Dumbrell in the Autobahn Racing Commodore, and Whincup was coming into his stride to wrestle the lead back.

Tander's card was marked, and sure enough on lap 14 the silver and red Falcon was past and into the lead, assisted by the slightest amount of braking long into the corner from Tander. Once past, Whincup made good of the clear air ahead, and by 6 laps later, he had a two second advantage.

Just as the race started to look like it might be getting a tad processional, so Time Slade graciously put his Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore into the wall to call the safety car into action once more. For many at the back of the field, a tactical early stop was called, albeit with the knowledge that it would mean a further late pitstop too. Once the Nissan was back in the pits, it was back of the grid starting Cameron McConville in the WOW Racing Commodore who was the leading driver to have pitted, whilst up front Whincup streaked away from Tander on the restart.

By the end of lap 34 the first of the one stopper front runners was in as Dumbrell came in from fourth. Three laps later Whincup was in from the lead too. On lap 39 it was Davidson's turn to pit and one lap later it was Tander. The elder HRT driver exited from his stop immediately ahead of his new team-mate, but on cold tyres he was unable to resist Davo's charge, and a minor outbrake let the younger man past.

Up front however it was McConville in the lead by lap 42 as everyone ahead of him pitted. A back of the grid to race win, however, was not possible, as the fuel tank on a V8 Supercar just isn't big enough to have enough fuel to go from lap 24 to 78 without a second stop, and sure enough come lap 59 McConville was back in for another stop, exiting in 13th place.

No sooner had McConville pitted than the third and final safety car period of the race came about after Dale Wood's Hi Tec Racing Oil Commodore took to the wall. Unfortunately for McConville, when the race went back to green conditions once more he ran wide, and had to make a third and final visit to the pits, eventually registering a 21st place come the chequered flag.

For the final blast to the line Davison's Commodore appeared to have renewed pace, however Whincup held on to deny his former housemate a dream debut for the HRT team, with Whincup winning his second race in as many days to get his championship defence off to a perfect start.

Davison beamed with his second place from Tander, who could partially forget his race exiting power steering woes of Saturday. Tander only just held on to the final podium spot from Lowndes who had slowly, but effectively worked his way back forwards after dropping from second to eighth spot at the start.

Lee Holdsworth in the Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore drove a strong race, staying shy of any dramas, but recording a strong fourth place. Equally, Steven Johnson in the Jim Beam Racing Falcon adopted a similar approach to take fifth from a spirited and on occasions quite wide, Jason Richards in the Team BOC Commodore.

Greg Murphy impressed with a gritty drive from the back of the field to eighth place, benefitting both from feisty driving and the safety car cards falling in his favour. Fellow Kiwi Steven Richards had a hard time on his way to ninth in the Ford Performance Racing Falcon, whilst Rick Kelly took tenth in the Jack Daniels Racing Commodore.



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