We all new that this season would be special with lots of changes happening over the off season in V8 Supercars. We had drivers change teams, teams change manufactures, new drivers come into the season and old drivers come out of retirement.

Here’s our recap of the epic V8 Supercars Championship opening round, the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500!

But never did expect to see the racing so close in just the second race of the season.

The Triple 8 Red Bull cars were quick straight out of the box and had poles for both race 1 and 2, and after Race 1’s Red Bull clean sweep we hoped we weren’t seeing a repeat of last season’s Red Bull domination.

But yesterday’s race 2 of the Clipsal 500 was just magic racing and if this is what the season is going to be like then this will be a ripper.

Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin was off the front row of the grid in race 2 alongside pole sitter Craig Lowndes. Lowndes won the start and quickly opened up a lead over McLaughlin and Whincup.

After the round of pit stops mid race, McLaughlin managed to get past Whincup and held him off for lap after lap.

Further down the field lots of biffo was happening, with James Courtney losing his door after a fight with Lee Holdsworth, Scott Pye got turned around by Shane Van Gisbergen, who himself got turned around only a few laps later by Tim Slade.

With a clear lead to Lowndes, the battle hotted up between Whincup and McLaughlin, with the two trading paint numerous times in the closing laps in the battle for 2nd position. The Holden seemed to have very good mid corner speed but on the straights it was clear the Volvo had the advantage.

But the best was yet to come over the last lap, one of the best we have seen in many years, probably since the fantastic Shane Van Gisbergen v Jamie Whincup battle on the Gold Coast in 2010.

Back then it was SVG chasing Whincup, this time is was the 5 time champion Whincup chasing the young McLaughlin.

Every corner it looked like Whincup might just get through on the young kiwi but he was always ready for him and closed the door.

Coming out of turn 9 Whincup gets up alongside the Volvo after going up onto the ripple strip, then coming out of turn 11 Whincup positions himself on the centre of the road and pushes McLaughlin out wide and up against the wall, with just mm to spare. This allows Whincup to then manage to get past him and into 2nd. With just two corners to go Whincup is in front, but McLaughlin is not giving up and is all over the back on him.

Coming into the final corner it looked like it was all over, with Whincup in front. But as the pair enter the final corner Whincup goes wide on the exit with a big slide and McLaughlin takes the opportunity to put his foot down and accelerate away to cross the line behind Craig Lowndes, who takes the race win, in 2nd with Whincup in 3rd.

There is a massive cheer from the crowd as McLaughlin crossed the line.

In pit lane it is a wonderful sight for Garry Rogers new Volvo team lots of cheers and pats on the back, it is a great start for this team that had been a Holden Team for many, many years and took the risk last year to swap to a new manufacture, and it has paid off with a podium in only their second race.

But the funniest past of the race is yet to come when during the post-race interview McLaughlin drops the F bomb live on national TV. When asked what happened on the last corner his reply was “I don’t know I just plucked first, gave it some jandal and F#$% yeah” the young kiwi went on to apologise but it was still a funny finish to an amazing day.

To catch up with all the action check out the videos below:

Race 2 Highlights

The epic Race 2 last lap of Volvo v Holden

Here’s some awesome international commentary which is hilarious regardless if you can understand French

Here’s the interview of interviews for V8 Supercars

 2014 Clipsal 500 Race 2 Results

1

888  Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes

2

33 Valvoline Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin

3

1 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup

4

5 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom

5

14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard

6

6 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert

7

2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander

8

36 Norton Hornets Michael Caruso

9

7 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly

10

9 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison

 

Race 3 on Sunday was an action packed race.

Whincup has a brilliant start and get a jump on pole sitter Shane Van Gisbergen and takes the race lead, going into the first turn Rick Kelly hits the tyre bundle and damages a tyre but managed to continue on.

A few laps later Chaz Mostert also clobbers the same tyre bundle and rips off the front corner of his front bumper but again continues on.

Lap 11 is where the action all started to unfold, Will Davison puts his Mercedes into the wall at turn 8 after a slight bump from the Nissan of James Moffat, as Davison slides down the wall it tore off the front passenger door and wheel.

This brought out the safety car and a rash of pits stops from the teams. Davison limps his car back to the pits but his day is done.

During the pit stops Winterbottom is let out of his pit box after his stop but is forced to stop at the end of pit lane to prevent hitting the line of cars exiting pit lane.

At the restart SVG is away in first as they get to the first corner there was a massive accident with Jason Bright’s car rolling into the fence after contact with others cars.

The cause of the accident is due to Tim Slade pushing into Garth Tander who then hits Bright who car is forced up onto two wheels but when it hits the edge of the ripple strip it is then pitched it up in the air slides across the track and gets thrown up against the crash fence where it spins around and comes down on its roof.

Scott Pye then hits Lee Holdsworth as he comes across to avoid other cars, Pye was then hit by Chaz Mostert heavily damaging Mostert Ford.

Mostert’s car is then forced to stop on the circuit as the oil pressure drops and the team told him to park it so as to not damage the engine.

Safety car is brought out as the cars damaged are cleaned up and removed from the track, both Pye and Bright are are ok and walk away from their damaged cars.

On the race restart Winterbottom is hit by Nick Percat at turn 6, after he was hit by Dale wood,  and goes into the wall, but was able to rejoin.

Just a few laps later Dale Wood is hit by Russell Ingall which turned Wood around, Jack Perkins is forced in the wall as he tries to avoid Wood’s spun car.

Moffat was given a drive through penalty for his hit on Davison. Both SVG and Rick Kelly are also forced to serve drive through penalties for infringements due to incorrect restart procedures

Jamie Whincup is penalised and is forced to serve a drive thru penalty on lap 57 due to the car controller touching the car during a pit stop, taking him out of the lead of the race, handing the lead to James Courtney.

Whincup on lap 65 tangles with Michael Caruso after locking up going into turn 9, damaging both cars, Whincup then goes off and turn 10, he manages to get back to the pits

The success of Volvo is not repeated with broken oil pan on Lap 12 for Dahlgren and McLaughlin out on lap 65 when his car lost power and stops on the circuit.

McLaughlin’s standard Volvo causes a safety car period. It was a clean start away from it

After the restart there was a great battle for 3rd between Percat and SVG until Percat hit the wall exiting turn 8 and then spins out and goes off at turn 9, no damage except for a bruised ego, handing 3rd place to SVG.

On the final lap Lowndes pushing hard grazes the wall on the exit of turn 8, removing the mirror but was extremely lucky to continue with no serious damage.

Courtney goes on to take the win ahead of Lowndes and SVG.

A very happy Courtney celebrates with some victory burnouts and donuts, a well-deserved win for Courtney after his 2013 season’s abrupt finish after his massive accident at the Phillip Island round.

So with a fantastic start to the championship with three different winners in the three different races, what will the 2014 bring? More racing like this we can only hope.

So we now look ahead to the next round at the Australian Grand Prix in just under two weeks, there will be some teams with lots of work to do to get some cars fixed in time.

 2014 Clipsal 500 Race 3 Results

1

22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney

2

888  Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes

3

97  Team Tekno VIP Petfoods Shane Van Gisbergen

4

14  Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard

5

15  Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly

6

47  Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade

7

55  The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds

8

17  Wilson Security Racing David Wall

9

360  Norton Hornets James Moffat

10

21  Team Advam/GB Dale Wood

 

2014 V8 Supercars Championship Points after Round 1

Pos Driver Penalty R1 R2 R3 Total

1

Craig Lowndes

0

69

75

138

282

2

Fabian Coulthard

0

55

55

120

230

3

Shane Van Gisbergen

0

64

28

129

221

4

Jamie Whincup

0

75

64

60

199

5

Rick Kelly

0

51

36

111

198

6

James Courtney

25

42

25

150

192

7

Mark Winterbottom

0

60

60

69

189

8

Tim Slade

0

30

31

102

163

9

Garth Tander

0

36

48

66

150

10

James Moffat

0

22

34

84

140

11

Michael Caruso

0

25

45

63

133

12

Russel Ingall

0

34

33

54

121

13

David Wall

0

31

0

90

121

14

David Reynolds

0

0

24

96

120

15

Scott McLaughlin

0

48

69

0

117

16

Jack Perkins

0

24

19

72

115

17

Dale Wood

0

18

16

78

112

18

Lee Holdsworth

0

27

27

57

111

19

Will Davison

0

33

39

0

72

20

Todd Kelly

0

28

42

0

70

21

Jason Bright

0

45

21

0

66

22

Scott Pye

0

39

22

0

61

23

Chas Mostert

0

0

51

0

51

24

Robert Dahlgren

0

21

18

0

39

25

Nick Percat

25

19

30

0

24

Photo Credit: Garry Rogers Motorsport & Ross Gibb

About The Author

Motorsport and magazine photographer by day, and writer by night. I live and breath cars and couldn't think of anything more awesome!

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