Winton. A winding track with wet windy weather.

Winton. A winding track with wet windy weather.

Dale Wood extended his lead in the Dunlop Series by taking out the opening race of the weekend at Winton. MW Motorsport team-mates Wood and Steve Owen beat a slow-starting pole-sitter Jack Perkins to the first corner. The pair remained in one-two formation until Owen’s car slowed suddenly and stopped on the back straight with just three laps remaining.

Perkins, Andrew Jones and Ashley Walsh trailed Wood to the flag under Safety Car following a late-race incident between Morgan Haber and Nandi Kiss that saw both cars beached at Turn 11.

Casey Stoner has been left to wonder when his luck will turn after his run of Dunlop Series disasters continued in the opening race at Winton. Due to an incident ahead of him, Finance Ezi’s Andre Heimgartner was shunted by Casey as they both tried to avoid the mayhem.

The race was bookended by Safety Cars, with Turn one’s carnage caused by an inside dive from Chris Pither creating a three-wide squeeze with Cameron Waters and Taz Douglas, who was subsequently spun in the middle of the pack.

The Finance Ezi car of Andre Heimgartner and the luckless Casey Stoner both suffered heavy damage in the resulting traffic jam, instantly ruling the pair out of the race with a DNF. The Red Bull Pirtek Holden suffered heavy front-end damage in the collision, which had seen Stoner pile into the back of Andre Heimgartner’s No 64 Finance Ezi Ford, which had in turn made contact with a spun Taz Douglas.

Josh Hunter in the Finance Ezi number 44 Ford ran on pace and reasonably incident free and come in a reputable 15th position.

Race 2 with reverse grid, was a gentle race by comparison and Josh ran 14th and Andre (with repairs that took most of the night to fix) moved up the pack to finish 21st.

The last race was fairly placid affair with Jack Perkins winning over a hard chasing Wood who couldn’t peg him back. This still enabled Wood to take the round win overall. While the race was free from Safety Car periods, the start was typically wild. A four-wide squeeze at Turn 1 saw some action although unlike the V8 Supercars Championship race earlier in the afternoon, no further carnage ensued.

Owen was really on pace having charged through from 27th on the grid to finish 9th. And Casey Stoner was also on the move, cutting his way from 30th to finish 16th, with Heimgartner on his heels to achieve a similar feat one place behind him.

The points for the year so far have Josh Hunter at 20th and Andre at 21st .