Shane van Gisbergen has taken the second V8 Supercars race win of his 2011 season with a sensational late charge to take victory in the second race of the SkyCity Triple Crown at Darwin today.Shane van Gisbergen won at Darwin

In circumstances strangely similar to Race 1 winner Rick Kelly, van Gisbergen also started from 12th place. The New Zealander steadily worked his way up the order and – unlike Kelly’s inheritance of the race win, which came about when the frontrunners collided – staged a late surge to overtake the leaders in the closing stages of the race.

With the rules for today’s 69-lap requiring the drivers to use both the ‘prime’ and ‘sprint’ Dunlop tyres during the race, the teams opted for a range of differing strategies to afford them the best advantage during the race.

Lee Holdsworth and Jamie Whincup were two drivers who opted to use the softer ‘sprint’ tyres during the opening stint of the race, and for Holdsworth, it worked a treat as he quickly moved into the lead. By contrast, Whincup fluffed his start from the front row, dropping to fifth, which was all the invitation Holdsworth needed to make a quick break.

Jason Bright’s wretched luck at Darwin continued, and the Team BOC driver made it a double-DNF when his engine blew on the eleventh lap. The resultant oil slick created a few scares for other drivers, and the Safety Car was deployed while the mess was cleaned up.

By this stage, Whincup was back up to second place, and the order shuffled around as the various pit and tyre strategies started to become evident. By half-distance, Holdsworth and Whincup had fought their way to the front, with Whincup emerging ahead in the lead.

As the race wound down, Whincup led from Holdsworth, with Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom and van Gisbergen all in hot pursuit and all running on the softer ‘sprint’ compound.

Lowndes had passed Holdsworth for second place, shortly before Karl Reindler had a heavy crash that brought out another safety car interruption.

Racing resumed with just seven laps to go, and Lowndes quickly set about passing his team-mate for the lead. Whincup’s tyres were starting to fade, and Winterbottom and van Gisbergen quickly moved by to push him down to fourth place.

With five laps to go, van Gisbergen took second place from Winterbottom and then closed down Lowndes, passing the Team Vodafone driver for the lead with three laps left. From there on, he held off Lowndes, Winterbottom and a rapid Tim Slade for victory, with the top-four covered by just 2.1 seconds after almost 90 minutes of racing.

Russell Ingall also staged a late charge to finish fifth, while Whincup faded to sixth and Holdsworth slumped to 15th.


V8 Supercars SkyCity Triple Crown Final Classification (Race 2 – 69 laps):

  Driver Entry / Team Result
1. Shane van Gisbergen Ford SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing 1:27:04.3716
2. Craig Lowndes Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 0.8939
3. Mark Winterbottom Ford Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing + 1.7301
4. Tim Slade Ford Lucky 7 / Stone Brothers Racing + 2.1758
5. Russell Ingall Holden Supercheap Auto / Paul Morris Motorsport + 5.0776
6. Jamie Whincup Holden Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Race Engineering + 7.2026
7. Will Davison Ford Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing + 7.8132
8. Alex Davison Ford Irwin / Stone Brothers Racing + 10.7096
9. Steven Johnson Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing + 11.3049
10. Jason Bargwanna Holden Jana Living / Brad Jones Racing + 12.9899
11. Paul Dumbrell Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash + 13.1486
12. Michael Caruso Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 14.7346
13. James Moffat Ford Jim Beam / Dick Johnson Racing + 16.0662
14. Steve Owen Holden VIP Petfoods / Paul Morris Motorsport + 16.0936
15. Lee Holdsworth Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 18.1594
16. Jonathon Webb Ford Mother Energy Racing Team / Tekno + 20.6097
17. Tony D’Alberto Ford Wilson Security / Tony D’Alberto Racing + 24.7720
18. Fabian Coulthard Holden Bundaberg / Walkinsaw Racing + 27.8393
19. Dean Fiore Ford Triple F Racing + 29.0786
20. Rick Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing + 39.6481
21. David Reynolds Holden Stratco Racing / Kelly Racing + 45.5042
22. Greg Murphy Holden Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing + 1 lap
23. Warren Luff Holden Gulf Western Oil Racing / Lucas Dumbrell + 1 lap
24. James Courtney Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 6 laps
25. Karl Reindler Holden Fair Dinkum Sheds / Brad Jones Racing + 6 laps
26. Garth Tander Holden TOLL / Holden Racing Team + 13 laps
DNF. Todd Kelly Holden Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing 45 laps
DNF. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing 10 laps

[Image via V8 Supercars Media]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.