Will Davison wins Bathurst 1000 motor race in tight finish

© AP, 9 October 2016

Will Davison, driving a Holden, held out a stern late challenge from Shane van Ginsbergen to win the Bathurst 1000 motor race Sunday for the second time and by the smallest margin in the event's 53-year history.

Davison crossed the finish line a single car length or 0.143 seconds ahead of van Ginsbergen's Holden at the end of a race which, after being almost uneventful for the first 90 of its 161 laps, was jam-packed with incident at its end.

Four-time winner Jamie Whincup started from pole position and was first across the line but dropped to 11th place when he received a 15 second penalty for his part in an incident which saw contenders Garth Tander and Scott McLaughlin crash out with 10 laps to go.

Whincup made contact with McLaughlin's Volvo, sending the car slewing off the track. Then, when he slowed to make redress he impeded Tander's Holden which was struck by McLaughlin as he rejoined the race. Both cars were unable to continue.

The safety car had not been needed for the first 90 laps of the race but was called on repeatedly in the final laps, adding to the complexity of competing fuel strategies.

Davison was called on to conserve fuel while also trying to hold out the late challenge of van Ginsbergen and just hung on.

"If I lifted to save any more fuel that Shane was going to be in there," Davison said. "The car coughed at the last corner and I ran out of fuel as I crossed the line.

"To go 90-odd laps without a safety car and then for it to turn into a race like that when we're all trying to save fuel. It was amazing."

Davison and Webb had been involved in a similar duel with van Ginsbergen in the 2014 race when the New Zealander van Ginsbergen emerged victorious.

"We had a heartache in 2014 but this time we won it and it's amazing," Webb said.

Whincup, who seemed to be driving to a successful fuel strategy, apologized to Tander and McLaughlin after the race.

"I feel sorry for the result and I'm just going up to the Volvo guys and the (Holden Racing Team) guys because you don't want to see any wrecked cars," Whincup said. "I felt the move was on. I was in there and he (McLaughlin) squeezed me narrow. We had contact and I was happy to redress but the car's not there to redress."

Van Ginsbergen, who shared his Red Bull Holden with Frenchman Alex Premat, extended his overall lead in the Supercar series to 139 points over teammate Whincup.


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