Craig Lowndes has won the Bathurst 1000
SUPERCARS veteran Craig Lowndes has won the Bathurst 1000 in his final visit to the iconic Mount Panorama circuit.
The Holden driver capitalised on a late-race meltdown from defending victor David Reynolds, who tapped out late in the race due to exhaustion.
Craig Lowndes stunned Mount Panorama as he pulled home another Bathurst crown with a six second gap over Scott Pye. The 44-year-old rocketed into first place after David Reynolds broke down with exhaustion late in the race and built a runaway seven second lead over Scott Pye.
Lowndes in the lead, Reynolds heartbroken
Craig Lowndes is firming for the perfect Bathurst swan song. The departing great closed in on race leader David Reynolds' tail with 30 laps remaining and went a little too hard coming out of Forrest's Elbow, colliding with the wall and almost losing it completely.
Despite the error, Lowndes continued to close the gap down to 0.37s in the 134th lap as the sun came out.
The 44-year-old took the lead with 26 laps to go as Reynolds cramped up on the ascent up the mountain.
"I've got the world's f***ing biggest cramp in my leg," Reynolds said over the team radio. "I'm going to need something in the stop, some sort of electrolyte please."
Erebus opted against changing drivers as the visibly struggling Reynolds pitted, but then disaster struck. Reynolds was spotted with his wheels spinning during the pit stop and was hit with a 30s penalty.
But Reynolds wasn't able to continue, exiting his car in pain and letting Luke Youlen take over for the disappointing finish.
"I just can't believe it," a shattered Reynolds said in the pits.
Top 10 firms with 40 laps to go
6. Van Gisbergen
McLaughlin's stunning overtake
Championship leader Scott McLaughlin proved his worth with a stunning overtake after leaving the pits.
McLaughlin squeezed through Scott Pye and Chaz Mostert before the mountain ascent, showcasing perfect braking through the corner and leaving Pye in his wake.
Reynolds snags fastest lap
David Reynolds was on a warpath after the 100th lap as he set a new race record with a 2:06.149 time.
Lowndes also found fresh speed out of his Holden with a slick 2:06:3864 time of his own while chasing Reynolds in second.
Meanwhile, Scott Pye and Chaz Mostert are in a bitter struggle seven seconds behind them. Pye narrowly lost third to Mostert on the first straight after running wide.
Lowndes on the charge
Supercars great Craig Lowndes slotted into second place as yet another Safety Car was brought out, this time following a massive bungle from youngster Bryce Fullwood.
The 20-year-old completely botched the final turn and landed his Ford deep in the sand.
Meanwhile, David Reynolds has switched with Luke Youlden for another stint on the tarmac, holding onto first place with a 0.6s lead over Lowndes.
Rain clears at halfway mark, Premat's crazy move
The sun came back out briefly as the Bathurst 1000 reached its halfway mark.
Scott McLaughlin's co-driver Alex Premat almost caused a massive pile-up on the 81st lap after coming off the track at the end of Conrod Straight.
Will Brown was run off the road after Premat narrowly avoided three cars into the final turn, sending a shockwave up the commentary box.
Premat was flagged for bad sportsmanship shortly after.
Coulthard loses the lead to Reynolds
Ford's Fabian Coulthard jumped into first place as the 61st lap ticked over, marking 100 laps to go in the day. David Reynolds sat a massive 14 seconds behind him but is all but locked in to reclaim the lead with Coulthard expecting to pit for fuel, tyre and driver change.
Shane van Gisbergen sat in third, four seconds behind Reynolds.
Scott McLaughlin locked up his brakes at the end of Conrod Straight in his chase-down of James Moffat, running onto the grass near the final turn.
Luke Youlden lost the lead through Turn One in the 46th lap after Alex Premat blasted through on the inside.
The overtake came as rain began spitting down on Mount Panorama at the 50-lap mark.
Dumbrell/Whincup car loses a tyre
Red Bull driver Paul Dumbrell suffered a massive setback in the 40th lap after losing an entire wheel before taking Turn One. The wheel took a life of its own after detaching, careering into the barrier at over 200km/h.
Dumbrell, who briefly led the race, was forced to travel up and down the mountain before returning to the pits.
Courtney, Perkins out of the charge
A Safety Car was called after Jack Perkins - James Courtney's co-driver - pulled up on the side of the Mountain Straight after reporting a "big blow up" over the team radio.
Meanwhile Luke Youlden has retaken the lead over Paul Dumbrell after the restart.
Mostert's 'dumb' error
2014 Bathurst champion Chaz Mostert left the entire Monster Energy Racing camp fuming after colliding with David Russell on Forest's Elbow.
The smash rendered Russell's steering column useless as he crashed out into the wall on Conrod Straight. Monster Energy driver Cam Waters, who is a teammate of Mostert's, was fuming at his blunder which saw their Ford out of the race.
"I don't know what he was trying to do, he put him in the fence. It's pretty dumb. Two years in a row I've been knocked out by Chaz," he fumed.
A voice could be heard on the broadcast saying: "I got f***ing done by a f***ing teammate."
Waters was sent spiralling out of Bathurst in 2017 late in the race when he was in a heartbreaking lap 145 collision with Mostert and Garth Tander.
Mostert was cleared of wrongdoing and climbed into sixth after the blunder, while the Monster Energy car went under the knife in the pits and was back up and running in the 36th lap.
Scary moment on the mountain
Erebus Motorsport star Anton de Pasquale and co-driver Will Brown were handed a mechanical black flag after their car was spotted with its door ajar while careering down Mount Panorama.
And their nightmare didn't end there. When changing drivers, the Erebus Motorsport team ran into an issue with seatbelts and wasted valuable seconds on track. They sunk down to 18th after returning to the tarmac.
Holden's David Reynolds quietly added to his strong lead atop the pack before heading to the pits for a break, handing co-driver Luke Youlden the wheel in the 23rd lap.
McLaughlin takes revenge
Scott McLaughlin reclaimed fifth after being ousted by Garth Tander early in the piece, squeezing past the Holden veteran through Turn One in the 15th lap.
Tander took the corner far too wide and offered up his spot on a platter to the Ford driver. Supercars icon Craig Lowndes, racing in his final Bathurst 1000, was hot on the pair's tail in seventh before making his first pit stop of the day.
Reynolds in perfect start
David Reynolds pulled off a perfect start to the 2018 Bathurst 1000, launching ahead from pole and putting a strong gap between him and the rest of the pack before Turn Two.
Supercars veteran Garth Tander also had an impressive start, blasting ahead four places on the outside after lights-out. The Holden star squeezed past Scott McLaughlin in to fifth by lap five, while Reynolds sat comfortably in front with a 3.5s lead over Shane van Gisbergen.
Fans shred James Reyne's anthem blunder
Aussie icon James Reyne was torn apart by fans after singing an acoustic version of the national anthem.
The former Australian Crawl frontman's performance of Advance Australia Fair was compared to Meatloaf's disaster set at the 2011 AFL grand final.
Shootout results, grid
1. David Reynolds (Holden) 2mins4.0590sec
2. Jamie Whincup (Holden) 2:04.0680
3. Anton de Pasquale (Holden) 2:04.3500
4. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden) 2:04.5390
5. Scott McLaughlin (Ford) 2:04.5490
6. Cameron Waters (Ford) 2:04.7520
7. Nick Percat (Holden) 2:04.7670
8. James Courtney (Holden) 2:05.0030
9. Craig Lowndes (Holden) 2:05.0840
10. Garth Tander (Holden) 2:05.1720
20 minutes to go