Whincup wins V8s' US debut race

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 19/05/2013
  • By AAP

Holden driver Jamie Whincup has won the V8 Supercars' inaugural race in the United States on Sunday (AEST), and extended his Championship lead in the process.

Whincup beat Red Bull Racing Australia teammate Craig Lowndes in the first of the weekend's four races at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Holden driver Fabian Coulthard was third.

Whincup now leads Ford's Will Davison, who finished fourth, by 80 points in the overall points standings.

He powered away from second on the grid to pass pole sitter Coulthard by the end of the tricky opening turn of the 27-lap race held in stifling Texas heat.

Then he held off teammate Lowndes in an engrossing battle for the remainder of the race following pit stops.

Once compulsory pit stops were completed – Holden driver Jason Bright among three drivers who didn't complete their stops until the second-last lap of the race to save the limited tyres for the weekend – Whincup assumed the race lead and went on to win.

In an unusual qualifying format with two back-to-back 15-minute sessions determining separate grids for the day's two races, Whincup will start from pole position for the second of races scheduled for later on Sunday (8am AEST). There's just 40 minutes between the two.

Lowndes' car had been under investigation for spinning wheels during the pit stop, but he has been cleared of any breach. 

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