Shane van Gisbergen has become the eighth different driver to pop the victory champagne in this year’s V8 Supercars Championship season, claiming victory in the third race of this weekend’s visit to Auckland’s Pukekohe Raceway.
Today’s earlier race-winner, Mark Winterbottom, chased him over the line to finish second, and in doing so he claimed the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Van Gisbergen’s charge to victory was impressive. Starting fourth on the grid, he overtook Winterbottom for third around the outside of Turn 4 on a frantic opening lap.
The first tour saw Friday race-winner Jason Bright end his hopes of successfully defending his Jason Richards Memorial Trophy win – the award given to the driver who accumulates the most points this weekend – after he crashed at the same corner. While he managed to get going and return to the pits for repairs, the accident triggered a brief safety car interruption.
When the racing got going again, van Gisbergen immediately pounced, overtaking second-placed Jamie Whincup before immediately getting onto the tail of pole-sitter and race leader Scott McLaughlin.
The young Kiwi’s Volvo wasn’t a match for the determined van Gisbergen, as he out-braked his countryman on the eighth lap and held the lead to the chequered flag.
Behind, Winterbottom made short work of Whincup and McLaughlin to move into second place, carving into van Gisbergen’s lead in the closing laps to cross the line just 0.3 seconds behind.
With incoming points leader Craig Lowndes having a wild ride en route to finishing tenth – his race included a lurid trip through the Styrofoam boards on the start/finish straight – it was enough to give ‘Frosty’ a two-point lead heading into tomorrow’s 200-kilometre final race.
McLaughlin completed the podium in third position, fending off Whincup’s attacks in the final laps to claim his first championship-round visit to the podium since the season-opening round in Adelaide.
Garth Tander, David Reynolds, Nick Percat, James Moffat, Scott Pye and Lowndes completed the top ten.
2014 V8 Supercars ITM 500 Auckland – Race 3 Results (35 laps):
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF||39:34.138|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 0.290|
|3.||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 7.470|
|4.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 7.669|
|5.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 10.057|
|6.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG||+ 10.322|
|7.||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF||+ 10.721|
|8.||James Moffat||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 10.964|
|9.||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG||+ 11.305|
|10.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 12.642|
|11.||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 13.157|
|12.||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF||+ 13.917|
|13.||Michael Caruso||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima||+ 14.280|
|14.||Russell Ingall||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF||+ 19.104|
|15.||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 19.980|
|16.||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG||+ 20.240|
|17.||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 20.962|
|18.||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG||+ 21.387|
|19.||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima||+ 23.707|
|20.||Dale Wood||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF||+ 32.527|
|21.||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60||+ 35.775|
|22.||Jack Perkins||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG||+ 38.626|
|23.||Jason Bright||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF||+ 59.502|
|24.||Tim Slade||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF||+ 59.876|
|WD.||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media