Whincup wins twice as Lowndes does it tough
Red Bull earnt two race wins through Jamie Whincup but were left wondering what could have been in a day of V8 drama at Symmons Plains.
After leaving the rest of the Supercars field in their wake during practice and qualifying, a clash between race leader Craig Lowndes and Whincup killed their chances of a one-two finish in race one.
Looking for an opportunity to pass Lowndes, Whincup made an aggressive inside pass on his teammate, only to end up shunting him off the track and out of contention.
Then the stewards did the same to Lowndes for race two.
Lowndes was sent to the back of the grid by race officials after his car was found to have tape over a rear window - seen as a safety issue.
While Lowndes motored through most of the field to finish fifth, it was a tough day's racing for the championship-leading veteran.
"I think we've missed a big opportunity here," he said.
"We had a one-two almost in the bag... but that's motor racing."
Despite Lowndes' dirty day, two poles and two wins for Whincup was a perfect day's racing.
He told his team radio he was "sorry for the situation" at race end but he was the day's big championship mover - jumping from seventh to third in the race for the title.
"I thought the pass was on, I didn't feel like I did anything bad by Craig," he said.
"He deserved to win or get second, it was a very ordinary situation ... lucky he's a good bloke and might let me off."
Behind Whincup in race one was James Courtney, with Mark Winterbottom placing third.
The day's most unlikely hero was Russell Ingall - who led qualifying at one point, threatening to take his first pole for thirteen years.
He eventually finished fourth, ahead of rising Volvo star Scott McLaughlin in fifth.
With Lowndes banished from his front row qualifying spot in race two, Whincup raced clear of Winterbottom to lead all race, winning ahead of the Ford driver and Fabian Coulthard in third.
Off the track, the new Tasmanian government has given an in-principle agreement to keep the popular race in the state.
New premier-elect Will Hodgman was given a tour of the circuit by V8s chief executive James Warbuton and said he would look to reach a funding deal with the sport after being sworn in next week.