Newly-crowned Australian Supercars Championship title-winner Shane van Gisbergen has closed out his 2016 campaign in style with victory in the final race of the season.

The Triple Eight Engineering driver came under intense pressure from the race’s pole-sitter Garth Tander, with the pair staging a race-long battle for victory.

Tander managed to get the jump at the start to lead for the first 20 laps of the 74-lap race before van Gisbergen was able to ease ahead. Now out in front, the New Zealander maintained his advantage for the remainder of the race, despite repeated attacks from Tander.

An impressive third place went to Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds, who capped off an often-trying season with the underfunded squad with a fine podium to close out his season. It was the street circuit ace’s first podium of the year and his best finish since his fifth place at the season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

Hot in his wheeltracks was van Gisbergen’s teammate Jamie Whincup, who tried every trick in the book to get past the erstwhile Reynolds in the closing stages of the race.

Fifth place was enough to secure Scott McLaughlin third overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings in his farewell outing for Garry Rogers Motorsport and Volvo. The youngster denied the Triple Eight stable of a 1-2-3 in the points’ race, with Craig Lowndes slipping to fourth overall after finishing today’s race in ninth place.

James Courtney finished in sixth place in the second HRT Commodore, ahead of fellow Holden runners Tim Slade and Will Davison.

2016 Australian Supercars Coates Hire Sydney 500 – Race 29 Top-10 Finishers (73 laps)
Pos Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Engineering 1:59:59.123
2. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team + 1.025
3. David Reynolds Erebus Motorsport + 2.386
4. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Engineering + 2.792
5. Scott McLaughlin Polestar GRM Volvo + 4.264
6. James Courtney Holden Racing Team + 4.731
7. Tim Slade Brad Jones Racing + 6.346
8. Will Davison TEKNO Autosports + 9.436
9. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Engineering + 9.784
10. James Moffat Nissan Motorsport + 10.020

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Geoff Burke

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