Shane van Gisbergen has chalked up Holden’s 500th win across its participation in the Australian Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars Championship with victory in Saturday’s opening race of the TyrePower Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains Raceway.

The Red Bull Racing driver edged out teammate Jamie Whincup by just one second in the 50-lap race, taking the lead of the Drivers’ Championship standings in the process.

It was a dominant display of driving by the New Zealander, who took the lead from Whincup with a neat passing move at the hairpin on Lap 18.

Whincup had himself vaulted into the lead with an early visit to the pits on Lap 4 as soon as the pit stop window opened. Emerging with a clear track to himself, the former series champion secured an effective lead of the race when polesitter and reigning champion Mark Winterbottom overshot his Prodrive Racing pit bay and had a slow stop as a result.

Once van Gisbergen had worked his way past Whincup – having earlier disposed of the team’s third driver Craig Lowndes in near-identical fashion – he set about stretching his legs before backing off in the closing laps.

Whincup narrowly held on to second from a fast-finishing Will Davison in the TEKNO Autosport Holden to make it a podium lockout for Holden.

It might have been a Triple Eight 1-2-3 with Lowndes finishing in third, but the series veteran found himself overwhelmed by Davison and Nissan’s Rick Kelly in the final laps of the race, falling to fifth.

Jason Bright and Brad Jones Racing teammate Tim Slade finished sixth and eighth respectively, running a contrary strategy by pitting late in the race to gain track position after qualifying in the midfield.

They sandwiched the Prodrive-run Rod Nash Racing Ford of Cam Waters, while Winterbottom could manage no better than ninth thanks to his early pit stop dramas and fading tyre grip later in the race. Winterbottom’s teammate Chaz Mostert rounded out the top ten.

The race was a bump back to earth for fellow Ford outfit DJR Team Penske, which saw Scott Pye finish fourteenth and teammate Fabian Coulthard struggle with braking issues en route to a lowly 18th.

It was an even worse race for Scott McLaughlin, who suffered from engine misfire issues in his GRM Volvo and finished last of all, ten laps adrift.

The field will grid up for the Tasmania SuperSprint’s second race over 200 kilometres on Sunday.

2016 V8 Supercars TyrePower Tasmania SuperSprint – Race 4 Top-10 Finishers (50 laps)
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time
1. Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Engineering 44:25.187
2. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Engineering + 0.939
3. Will Davison TEKNO Autosports + 1.135
4. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport + 7.515
5. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Engineering + 10.121
6. Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing + 13.012
7. Cameron Waters Rod Nash Racing + 15.315
8. Tim Slade Brad Jones Racing + 17.287
9. Mark Winterbottom Prodrive Racing Australia + 17.623
10. Chaz Mostert Prodrive Racing Australia + 18.167

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
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