Craig Lowndes sweeps Ipswich V8 round

LAINE CLARK
Last updated 19:53 05/08/2012
Craig Lowndes
Getty Images
TITLE HOPES: Craig Lowndes has completed a clean sweep of the Ipswich V8 Supercars round.

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For the second straight year Holden veteran Craig Lowndes has completed a clean sweep of the Ipswich V8 Supercars round in a major boost to his championship hopes.

Backing up from his 140km race victory on Saturday, Lowndes, 38, again proved too good in the 200km finale on Sunday to maintain his Midas touch at home track Queensland Raceway.

It was Lowndes' fifth straight victory - and 11th overall - at Ipswich.

He finished the 65-lap race almost two seconds ahead of Ford's Mark Winterbottom after their absorbing duel was disrupted by backmarkers, with series leader Jamie Whincup a distant third.

Initially it did not look like it would be Lowndes's day after he struggled in qualifying before pulling out a blistering last gasp lap to start the race fourth on the grid.

Winterbottom got the jump on pole sitter and teammate Will Davison at the start with Lowndes looming large in his mirror.

Lowndes made his move on lap six, overtaking Winterbottom's Falcon, and was never headed despite plenty of pressure from his Ford rival.

Lowndes chipped 42 points from Whincup's series lead over the weekend with the potentially series-deciding endurance rounds on the horizon.

Whincup leads with 2052 points, 82 ahead of Winterbottom, 176 more than Davison and 256 ahead of Lowndes midway through the season.

"The last couple of years we have had a good back half of the year - I hope it continues," Lowndes said.

"I love the endurance rounds."

There wasn't much Lowndes did not achieve this weekend.

He set a new qualifying lap record to grab pole in the opening race before sealing a dominant victory on Saturday.

And he wasn't to be denied on Sunday, providing Whincup and Ford title threats Winterbottom and Davison plenty of food for thought ahead of the next round at Sydney's Eastern Creek track from August 25-26.

While Lowndes dominated, Winterbottom and Davison still exorcised the demons of last year's nightmare Ipswich round when they struggled to break the top 15 and were lapped.

Davison finished sixth on Saturday and fourth on Sunday.

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