Jamie Whincup exacted revenge on his teammate and chief title rival Shane van Gisbergen to close out the ITM Auckland SuperSprint round with victory in the weekend’s final race.
Unfortunately for Whincup – who lost crucial points in the day’s earlier race when he was penalised for tipping van Gisbergen into a spin – his teammate finished the race in second place. The result sees the pair head into the upcoming Sydney 500 finale separated by 191 points in van Gisbergen’s favour, all but ensuring that the New Zealander will claim his maiden Supercars Championship crown, barring disaster.
Whincup qualified on pole for the weekend’s final race at Pukekohe Park Raceway and stormed into the lead in a dominant lights-to-flag display; he crossed the line close to nine seconds clear of van Gisbergen, who was unable to maintain Whincup’s pace.
Scott McLaughlin returned to the podium in his Volvo, reducing the points’ gap to Craig Lowndes to 21 points in the pair’s battle for third place in the Drivers’ Championship standings. Lowndes could manage no better than sixth place in this race.
McLaughlin came under pressure from Prodrive Racing’s Chaz Mostert, who crossed the line in the New Zealander’s wheeltracks with teammate and previous race-winner Mark Winterbottom in close pursuit.
Garth Tander and Fabian Coulthard rounded out the top eight for Holden Racing Team and DJR Team Penske respectively.
|2016 Australian Supercars ITM Auckland SuperSprint – Race 27 Top-10 Finishers (35 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Engineering||37:37.162|
|2.||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Engineering||+ 8.737|
|3.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 19.478|
|4.||Chaz Mostert||Prodrive Racing||+ 19.899|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing||+ 20.650|
|6.||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Engineering||+ 21.135|
|7.||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||+ 21.926|
|8.||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske||+ 23.569|
|9.||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||+ 24.403|
|10.||James Moffat||Nissan Motorsport||+ 25.359|
Image via Edge Photographics
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