I’ve spent a few days away from the blog and the TV, so there was no race of the week from me last Monday. There should have been a Grand Prix to talk about of course, but the serious issues facing Bahrain put a stop to the fun and frivolity of F1. A week after the Grand Prix that never was and now the season is really kicking off with Moto GP, World Touring Cars and the new for 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup all bursting into life.
None of those international series provided the most entertaining racing of the weekend though, that was left to the good old V8 Supercars who were back where they belong on Australian soil for the Clipsal 500 around the streets of Adelaide. These famous roads were sprinkled with a little rain, the magic racing ingredient, making for a thrilling eight car battle for the first half of the 78 laps run on the Sunday.
The Ford of Will Davison started from pole and proceeded to fight with no less than eight Holdens, which hardly seemed fair. Big hitters like Courtney, Lowndes, Rick Kelly and eventual winner Jamie Whincup all ganged up on the blue car as a drying line began to emerge and Davison’s set-up slowly lost its edge before he suffered a poor pit stop. Door handle touched door handle, the wall got rubbed and there were all kinds of crazy racing lines being employed to find precious grip around the former home of the Australian Grand Prix. The racing was nearly all fair, unlike some other touring car series. This was a fine street fight if ever there was one.
Jamie Whincup drove as perfect a race as you could expect in such tricky conditions, eventually taking the flag from Rick Kelly by just over a second. During the early wet laps Whincup was spectacular yet controlled in his enthralling dice with Davison before dropping back a few places through the tightly-bunched pack. As the track dried he drove smoothly to regain the lead, though there was always the spectre of more precipitation quite literally hanging in the air. The hundreds of thousands of fans that flocked to see Australia’s favourite wheeled-warriors were treated to Race of Two World’s race of the week, let’s hope the streets of Melbourne are packed with this many thrills.
If you have the time then click here and check out the whole race. In the local parlance, it’s a ripper mate!