SMP Images - Simon Hodgson

Electrical failure ruins Bathurst

FORMER Byron Bay driver Andrew Thompson had a mixed weekend taking on Mount Panorama in the Bathurst 1000.

Thompson and his co-driver Jamie Whincup led Australia's most prestigious motor race for much of yesterday, before their car lost power dramatically and they dropped out of contention. They finished 21st.

Their TeamVodafone teammates Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife finished second behind Garth Tander and Nick Percat in an exciting finish.

However, the weekend was not an entire bust for Thompson.

He recorded a clean sweep in round five of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, the secondary Supercar division.

Starting from pole position on Saturday, he was in a ding-dong battle with another Northern Rivers driver David Russell, formerly of Caniaba.

However, after a safety car came on to the track, Thompson regained the lead and held off Russell. He also won round one on Friday.

"I had another good run in race two but I didn't get as good a start as David Russell. He moved over quite aggressively and I copped a little bit of damage at the start," Thompson said.

"We had a couple of safety cars periods but the first one worked in my favour.

"I got around David into the first corner and opened up a gap, which I was able to maintain for the remainder of the race.

"Overall we had a strong car. We started to get a bit of rain over the top, which made the conditions a little slippery, but we worked through that and got the win."

He leads Russell by 178 points with two rounds remaining.

Russell had a disastrous race with Kelly Racing in the main Bathurst race, finishing 24th.

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