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Townsville Supercars: Whincup wins despite radio dramas

Jamie Whincup comfortably won the opening heat of the Townsville SuperSprint, despite losing communication with his crew 10 laps into the race.

Townsville Supercars: Whincup wins despite radio dramas

The Red Bull Holden driver made a smart getaway from pole to charge into a lead he wouldn't surrender across the 39-lap journey.

He already had a handy margin when he made his sole mandatory stop on Lap 17, taking on three new tyres before cruising to a 6.8s win.

That was despite no communication with the pitwall after Lap 10, that, combined with Whincup being unsure if he'd seen the chequered flag on the last lap, leading to him pulling up on the front straight rather than pitlane after the finish.

"We lost radio about Lap 10, I was screaming at the guys to put the [pit] board out," said Whincup. 

"And then I din't get the chequered flag; he sort of had it out but he didn't know if it was me or not. I remember the old man said to keep going until you get the chequered flag, so I kept going. I was just trying to wing it with no radio.

"All in all I'm happy with the win, the car was excellent. We used three tyres, I think most maybe only used two. But we needed a win when we could grab it."

Cam Waters finished second after running longer than most in his first stint. 

The Tickford driver didn't make his mandatory stop until 23 laps from home, using his fresher rubber to quickly close in Chaz Mostert, who'd stopped seven laps earlier.

The pair staged a brief, intense battle before Waters blasted past at Turn 11 four laps from home. 

"I had a bit of fun coming back through the pack, and racing Chaz as well," said Waters. "We actually kept it clean, which is amazing for us two..."

Mostert added: "It was a good old battle for Cam, we just had nothing for him. I wish I could have put on more of a show."

Fabian Coulthard got by David Reynolds late in the race to grab fourth, while Scott McLaughlin came all the way from 16th to finish seventh behind James Courtney.

The series leader made nearly all of his positions on the first lap, a classic Lap 1, Turn 2 concertina crash wreaking havoc on the midfield.

McLaughlin was able to sneak through, despite copping a whack on his rear bumper, emerging in eighth.

Converting that to a seventh place finish limited the damage to his series lead, his advantage still 141 points over Whincup.

The likes of Anton De Pasquale and Shane van Gisbergen weren't as fortunate in the first-lap crash, the former able to recover to 10th while the latter lost nearly 10 laps for repairs on his Red Bull Holden.

Chris Pither was the surprise of the race, the Team Sydney driver right in the midfield battle as he finished a well-crafted 11th. 

Townsville Supercars - Race 1 results:

Cla # Driver Car Time
1 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB
2 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 6.885
3 25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 13.667
4 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 20.969
5 9 Australia David Reynolds
Holden Commodore ZB 22.714
6 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 29.345
7 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT 32.853
8 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 34.662
9 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 41.499
10 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 41.575
11 22 New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 41.870
12 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 42.714
13 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 43.758
14 35 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 46.292
15 55 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 1'02.613
16 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.889
17 15 Australia Rick Kelly
Ford Mustang GT 1 lap
18 19 Australia Alex Davison
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
19 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 9 laps
8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 16 laps
34 Australia Zane Goddard
Holden Commodore ZB 19 laps
7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 22 laps
14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 32 laps
3 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 38 laps
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