17 Apr 2010

Whincup wins opening race at Hamilton 400

7:26 pm on 17 April 2010

Holden's Jamie Whincup has extended his V8 Supercar championship lead with victory in the opening race of the Hamilton 400 on Saturday.

The Team Vodafone pilot overcame a fierce early challenge from rival Garth Tander to pull away for his fifth race win from seven championship starts this year.

Tander had to settle for second ahead of Ford's James Courtney who climbed from a starting position of ninth to get himself on the podium and maintain his own impressive start to 2010.

Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes came in fourth with another Holden, Michael Caruso, finishing fifth.

Jason Richards was the best placed New Zealander in 11th spot, while fellow local hope Shane van Gisbergen crashed out in the opening lap.

Greg Murphy finished 18th, Daniel Gaunt 19th and Fabien Coulthard 22nd.