Shane Van Gisbergen has won race 26 at Sydney Motorsport Park ahead of Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes.

The race started under heavy rain, causing carnage at the first corner. Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin made a good start however both got caught up in the first corner tangle.

David Reynolds was spun from behind by James Moffat and then cleaned up by Tim Slade bringing out the first safety car.

A fast starting Van Gisbergen wasn’t wasting any time, popping into second position following the race restart then displaying his dominance in wet weather conditions, passing McLaughlin then taking Whincup after the Red Bull driver made a mistake. McLaughlin then found a rhythm, getting by Whincup for second position and leaving him to deal with the pressure of his teammate Craig Lowndes.

Lap 10/26 and the front runners were Van Gisbergen in the lead, McLaughlin trailing in second, Lowndes holding in third, Whincup in fourth and Tander closing the top five.

Volvo Polestar had some issues with their number 33 car suffering engine problems, forcing Scott off the track at turn 2, Mark Winterbottom was struggling down in 19th and following the incident with McLaughlin pitted for some fresh tyres under the safety car.

With the race restarting, Whincup was slowly dropping down the list as he fell behind Tander on the restart, making that 12 grid spots gained by the HRT driver. Fabian Coulthard reported a lot of steering damage and retreated to the pits for investigation.

In the closing stages it was looking like no one could catch the unstoppable Van Gisbergen, with the next car more than 8 seconds behind. Pye and Moffat were having their own battle back in the pack, with Pye getting by the Hornet at turn 2 and with a time certain finish, all cars were pushing as hard as they can to the end.

Shane Van Gisbergen in spectacular style took out race 26 with not one other car in sight behind him. The VIP Pet Foods driver was over the finish line 9.15 seconds ahead of Garth Tander who managed second, and to close the winner’s podium in third was Craig Lowndes.

Images via Christian Hartung

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Christian Hartung