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Jamie Whincup is now 296 points ahead in the Supercars championship.
Jamie Whincup is now 296 points ahead in the Supercars championship.

Whincup stays first in V8 series after Abu Dhabi round

Davison completed hat-trick of second places, blaming his poor start for losing pole.

ABU DHABI // Mark Webber acknowledged on Saturday he had been too busy to see any of the Australian V8 Supercar series on the track due to his busy schedule competing in the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Australian Red Bull Racing driver had said he hoped to see some of his compatriots, who were based in the support pit underneath the Marina Grandstand, and watch at least part of yesterday's third and final race.

One race, in terms of action at the front, was all Webber would have needed to see to sum up the weekend, as it was the same story in all three races: domination by Jamie Whincup.

The championship leader had won Saturday's two races, and it was more of the same yesterday as he cruised to another triumph to extend his fantastic record at Yas Marina Circuit to five victories from six attempts.

He won by 1.1 seconds from Will Davison, but said it had not been as easy at looked, with the track conditions having changed greatly.

"It was a very different day," he said.

"Those Formula One guys lay some rubber down like you wouldn't believe so we made some pretty decent changes to the car and it worked really well.

"In the middle of the day it was quite hot inside the car, but a fantastic victory for us."

As with the previous two races, Whincup made his move at the start, as he got off the line better than pole-sitter Davison.

The two made contact as Davison looked to close the door on Whincup, but there was no stopping the Triple Eight Race Engineering car as he kept his foot down and got to the first corner in the lead and was never headed again. There was drama further back in the field, however, as Jason Bright was spun round on the exit of Turn 17 and into the path of Karl Reindler, who had nowhere to go and crashed into Bright.

Reindler's damaged Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing car began smoking badly, and briefly caught fire, before marshals extinguished the flames, although the safety car was out for four laps as the track was cleared.

Once the racing restarted it was business as usual for Whincup. He steadily pulled away by a couple of 10ths of a second a lap from Tim Slade, who had got past Davison on the opening lap.

Davison, who had finished second in both of Saturdays races, was able to find a way past Slade at the end of the eighth lap of the 10-lap event, shortened from 12 laps due to having to run within a 30-minute time limit.

He was disappointed to be runner-up again, and lamented his poor start for costing him.

"I tried a different technique at the start but it didn't work and I ended up having a good battle with Sladey," he said. "In the end, we couldn't quite touch Jamie."

Slade held on to take third, ahead of Shane Van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom, with the latter, now 296 points adrift, with four races left of the season.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

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