Shane van Gisbergen and co-driver Jonathon Webb have atoned – somewhat – for their Bathurst 1000 heartbreak just a fortnight ago by claiming victory from pole position in the first of this weekend’s two races for the Gold Coast 600.

The TEKNO Autosport duo ultimately cruised to victory in an incident-filled race, winning by just over two seconds from championship leader Jamie Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell.

With the opening phase of the race largely featuring the field’s co-drivers, Webb lead from pole position. The race was immediately thrown under a full-course caution after the #22 HRT Holden of James Courtney / Greg Murphy was forced into retirement just seconds into the race; Murphy was tapped into a spin trying to avoid the slow-starting Nissan of David Russell / Rick Kelly and they were forced out with broken suspension.

Webb was slow to restart the field when the green flag was thrown, and Dumbrell jumped the gun from third to take the lead before passing the control line. He quickly sought to redress the situation, but not before an enterprising Scott McLaughlin – who was one of just five ‘main game’ drivers to start the race – nipped ahead of Webb to overtake them both.

McLaughlin set about building an early lead while Webb fended off Dumbrell and the chasing pack for the next few laps, but McLaughlin’s hopes of victory ultimately came undone by his Volvo team trying to anticipate a Safety Car call that never came. Alex Davison managed to slide his Erebus AMG into the barriers, and so McLaughlin headed for the pits in the anticipation of a debris clean-up; he handed over to co-driver Alexandre Prémat but the damage was done and so the pair spent the rest of the race trying to pick their way back up the order.

While the officials ultimately decided to ease up on a clampdown over kerb-hopping, that didn’t stop a number of runners from coming to grief against the tyre stacks or the cement walls.

David Reynolds was one such casualty, shattering his right front suspension after getting onto two wheels through the beachfront chicane; his retirement triggered the race’s second Safety Car, and by that point Whincup (who’d taken over from Dumbrell) was in the lead from Mark Winterbottom, Ashley Walsh, and the out-of-sequence McLaughlin.

Shane van Gisbergen

As the next phase of pit stops and dramas unfolded, van Gisbergen was back in the lead heading into the final one-third of the race, while Whincup picked his way up the order after his final visit to the pits.

Whincup’s teammate Craig Lowndes was not out of contention, stuck in pit lane for lengthy repairs after tagging the wall.

Ultimately, van Gisbergen was never headed, easing off in the final two laps to beat Whincup home at the end of the 102-lap race.

The battle for third place between Tim Slade and Mark Winterbottom was intense; ‘Frosty’ repeatedly touched the back of Slade’s TWR Holden and a final tap exiting the last corner was enough to unsettle Slade and allow the FPR driver to nip into third place by just two-hundredths of a second.

Winterbottom was handed a controversial penalty after the race and stripped of his podium, which was returned to an exhausted Slade, who had finally delivered a performance that wasn’t sullied by bad lack or reliability problems.

2014 V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 – Race 1 (102 laps):

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Shane van Gisbergen / Jonathon Webb Holden Team TEKNO VIP Petfoods 2:13:24.099
2. Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell Holden Red Bull Racing Australia + 2.255
3. Tim Slade / Tony D’Alberto Holden SuperCheap Auto Racing + 23.169
4. Mark Winterbottom / Steve Owen^ Ford Pepsi Max Crew Ford Performance Racing + 23.147
5. Michael Caruso / Dean Fiore Nissan Norton Hornets + 23.299
6. Chaz Mostert / Paul Morris Ford Pepsi Max Crew Ford Performance Racing + 31.840
7. Scott McLaughlin / Alexandre Premat Volvo Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM + 38.651
8. Scott Pye / Ashley Walsh Ford Wilson Security Racing + 38.899
9. Russell Ingall / Tim Blanchard Holden Repair Management Australia Racing + 1:03.799
10. Garth Tander / Warren Luff Holden Holden Racing Team – 1 lap
11. Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden Holden Lockwood Racing – 1 lap
12. Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird AMG Erebus Motorsport V8 – 1 lap
13. Robert Dahlgren / Greg Ritter Volvo Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM – 1 lap
14. James Moffat / Taz Douglas Nissan Norton Hornets – 1 lap
15. Dale Wood / Chris Pither Holden Team ADVAM / GB – 2 laps
16. Jason Bright / Andrew Jones Holden Team BOC – 3 laps
17. David Wall / Steven Johnson Ford Wilson Security Racing – 3 laps
18. Craig Lowndes / Steven Richards Holden Red Bull Racing Australia – 4 laps
19. Nick Percat / Oliver Gavin Holden HHA Racing – 5 laps
20. Rick Kelly / David Russell Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing – 16 laps
21. Will Davison / Alex Davison AMG Erebus Motorsport V8 – 19 laps
Not Classified
DNF. Todd Kelly / Alex Buncombe Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing 76 laps
DNF. David Reynolds / Dean Canto Ford The Bottle-O Racing Team 49 laps
DNF. Jack Perkins / Cameron Waters Ford Team Jeld-Wen 27 laps
DNF. James Courtney / Greg Murphy Holden Holden Racing Team 0 laps

^ Winterbottom/Owen were stripped of third place for causing avoidable contact with Slade/D’Alberto on the final lap of the race.

Image via Christian Hartung

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Christian Hartung