Flawless win for Lowndes

Supercars veteran Craig Lowndes has claimed a first win in two years as series leader Shane van Gisbergen fell from the clouds on a remarkable day‘s racing at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

Supercars race 8 winner Craig Lowndes Photo: Clay Cross / PHOTOSPORT

Lowndes ran an unblemished race in his Autobarn Racing Commodore, qualifying on pole and withstanding all challenges for a stunning win on Sunday.

The 43-year-old won ahead of Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup in race with major ramifications for the 2018 championship.

Van Gisbergen no longer leads the series after a throttle issue shuffled him back through the field for a 25th-placed finish.

Fellow heavyweight Fabian Coulthard also suffered a major setback when he lost a wheel nut mid-race and was forced into an unscheduled pit stop before finishing 17th.

But the day belonged to Lowndes, the crowd‘s champion.

He needed to overtake McLaughlin at the hairpin to regain the lead, lost when the young Kiwi undercut him at a pit stop.

Lowndes delighted in jumping to the top step of the podium for the 106th time, saying he was relieved to end the longest drought of his career.

“Last year was up and down and this year we wanted to be more consistent. We wanted to be on podiums,” he said.

“We showed we can bounce back.”

“It‘s been a long time coming and I can‘t thank the team enough.”

The result puts Whincup on top of the championship – a major turnaround from the first meet of the season.

He recorded a first DNF in five years in Adelaide to sit 18th overall but hasn‘t missed the podium in six races since.

“I was miles back. Now I‘m not (but) there‘s still a lot of water to run under the bridge,” he said.

“Today is all about Lowndesy. What an effort.”

The Supercars tour‘s shortest circuit brought drama beyond its kilometres on Sunday.

Richie Stanaway was forced into retirement on lap one when he ran into debris.

Michael Caruso tagged Will Davison at the hairpin shortly after, bringing a 15-second penalty.

At the front, it was another day of Holden domination.

On Saturday, 11 of the top 13 cars were Commodores. On Sunday it was eight of the front nine.

James Courtney backed up a Saturday podium with fourth place to sit fourth in the championship – one place ahead of van Gisbergen.

First-year full-time driver Jack Le Brocq finished fifth, his best result in the sport.

– AAP