Supercars

VAN GISBERGEN WINS WITH 4 KIWI DRIVERS ON TOP AT THE BEND

The top four positions in the Virgin Australia Supercars Repco SuperSprint were covered by a bevy of Kiwi’s, Shane van Gisbergen had a decisive win from Andre Heimgartner, Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard.

Scott McLaughlin led the field from pole position for the long run down towards turn 1, while fellow front row starter Shane van Gisbergen appeared to be left behind. Race 25 winner Fabian Coulthard had two wheels on the infield as he looked to displace the RBHRT driver for second place. It all changed under brakes for the opening corner when van Gisbergen swept around the outside of both Shell V-Power Mustangs which placed him on the inside line for turn 2. The #97 held a small advantage over the 2 Shell V-Power Mustangs in the opening corners with Mostert, Waters, Heimgartner and Kelly close behind.

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The race quickly moved into a holding pattern as drivers conserved rubber for the second race later in the afternoon. Mostert, Heimgartner, Holdsworth, Reynolds and Le Brocq were the first to stop when the pit window opened at the end of lap 5. McLaughlin, Kelly and Fullwood responded with their stops a lap later. McLaughlin emerged just in front of Mostert only to see the WAU drivers dive past under brakes, while the #17 struggled to bring cold tyres up to temperature.

It was another race to forget for Championship contender Jamie Whincup. After the dramas of yesterday and a poor qualifying result, Whincup’s woes were compounded by a technical issue during his pitstop when the onboard jack initially failed. The tyre changers stood perplexed as the problem was eventually rectified in a laboriously slow 12 second stop, which dropped the #88 Commodore towards the tail of the field.

Shane van Gisbergen and Todd Hazelwood were the last to take their compulsory stops with the race leader in at the end of lap 13. Mostet was alongside van Gisbergen as the former leader moved across from the blend line and slotted back into 3rd behind the WAU Commodore and McLaughlin’s Shell V-Power Mustang. The #97 RBHRT Commodore made a move at turn 4 and left the right rear of McLaughlin’s car with noticeable panel damage to the right rear guard. A second lunge at turn 5 saw van Gisbergen move into 2nd on much fresher tyres.

McLaughlin looked to follow van Gisbergen past Mostert at turn 4 only to have the door closed abruptly, which slowed both cars on the run to try 5. Andre Heimgartner looked to capitalise on a half chance and dived inside Mclaughlin as the #17 did likewise to Mostert at turn 5. Heimgartner sandwiched McLaughlin into the #25 Commodore which allowed Waters and Coulthard to close. It proved to be the catalyst for another slide back through the field for Mostert, with a set-up that ate up the soft compound tyre far quicker than his rivals.

Shane van Gisbergen managed to maintain a gap of just over a second to Heimgartner to the chequered flag to record his third win of 2020 from Heimgartner and Mclaughlin. Coulthard, De Pasquale, Kelly, Reynolds, Waters, Percat and Le Broc were the top 10 finishers for the race, with Mostert 11th and Whincup 17th.

“Kiwis one, two three as well which is pretty sick, Shane van Gisbergen told Fox Sports. “What a turn around from yesterday, we had no try life and kept blistering them. Struggled at the start taking care of them (tyres) and then the car came alive. Came out in the battle, really cool.

 

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