CORTINA D'AMPEZZO - US skier Lindsey Vonn made history Saturday by becoming the oldest winner of a women's World Cup downhill race in Cortina d'Ampezzo, racking up her 79th World Cup career victory aged 33.

Vonn, who came second in Friday's first run, blazed down her favourite Olympia delle Tofane course in 1min 36.48sec to beat Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather by 0.92sec with another American, Jacqueline Wiles third at 0.98. It was Vonn's 12th World Cup win in the Italian dolomites -- six in downhill and six in Super-G -- and 40th of her career in downhill.

It also saw her overtake Elisabeth Goergl as the oldest winner of a women's World Cup downhill -- the Austrian was 32 years and 325 days old when she won in Altenmarkt in 2014 while Vonn turned 33 in October last year.

"Mentally I feel like it's the first podium I got back in 2004," said Vonn. "I have the same motivation, drive, excitement, the only thing that has changed is my body is not as good as it was but that doesn't mean I can't still win. I just take more energy and motivation to hold it together. I'll keep going as long as my old knee holds out."

It was the 2010 Olympic downhill champion's second win of the season after the Super-G in Val d'Isere last month, as she builds momentum towards the Pyeongchang Games. And Vonn has a chance to add to her tally in Cortina in Sunday's Super-G. "When she's here, she's almost impossible to beat," said Weirather, who claimed her fifth podium of the season.

Vonn lost on Friday when an error cost her victory to Sofia Goggia of Italy. But she made no mistake on Saturday. "It was good clean skiing today. A beautiful day, normal perfect Cortina sunshine," said Vonn after her 20th podium finish in the Italian resort, second only to her 25 in Lake Louise.

She also hailed the progress made by her protegee, 25-year-old Wiles. "For me it was really special also to have Jacqueline on the podium too," she added. "I supported her when she didn't have the money to continue in the World Cup and she's part of my foundation."

Vonn, the first skier to record a World Cup win in 15th consecutive years, is closing in on the all-time World Cup record of 86 victories held by Ingemar Stenmark between 1974 and 1989.

But she said her mind was more on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that begin on February 9. "My focus is so much on the Olympics I haven't been thinking of it this season," she said. "It's nice to get closer to that record. After the Olympics I'll try and get closer to that record and hopefully have more wins before I retire."

Goggia failed in her bid for a third straight downhill win as she tumbled on the first part of the run, but she still holds top spot in the overall downhill standings. Mikaela Shiffrin, the overall World Cup leader, was third on Friday and trailed in seventh position 24 hours later, 1.45sec behind Vonn.