Shane van Gisbergen’s quest to win a second Supercars Championship title was dealt a major blow after he was stripped of victory in Saturday’s first race of the season-ending Newcastle 500 round.
A 25-second time penalty was issued to the New Zealander – who won the race in dramatic fashion by passing an out-of-fuel Scott McLaughlin on the final lap to move to within 2 points of his compatriot in the championship battle – after the stewards ruled that his Red Bull Holden Racing Team pit crew had violated the rules.
The investigation of the alleged breach ran well into the night after TV replays showed that van Gisbergen’s car was lowered off its jacks just before refuelling was complete on his third and final pit stop.
The error was a clear violation of the rules, but the final decision was not handed down until Sunday morning while Red Bull Holden Racing Team officials continued to argue they did not have any performance gain from the error which it attributed to miscommunication between members of its pit crew.
The final decision was handed down, with van Gisbergen handed a 25-second time penalty – equivalent to a pit lane drive-through penalty – for the transgression which dropped him to fifth in the final classification.
McLaughlin was therefore promoted to the position of race winner, with David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport Holden) and van Gisbergen’s teammate Jamie Whincup completing the podium. Scott Pye (Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden) was promoted to fourth place.
The updated race results see McLaughlin’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings extended to 53 points over van Gisbergen, with a maximum of 150 points available in Sunday’s final race. The DJR Team Penske driver must finish sixth or better – irrespective of where van Gisbergen finishes – to win his maiden Drivers’ Championship title.
|2018 Australian Supercars Newcastle 500 – Race 30 Final Classification (95 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||2:00:26.0938|
|2.||David Reynolds||Erebus Penrite Racing||+ 7.006|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 16.487|
|4.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||+ 18.706|
|5.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 21.230|
|6.||Mark Winterbottom||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 36.707|
|7.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||+ 37.982|
|8.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||+ 46.156|
|9.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 48.335|
|10.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||+ 50.392|
|11.||Anton de Pasquale||Erebus Penrite Racing||+ 52.772|
|12.||Lee Holdsworth||Preston Hire Racing||+ 55.126|
|13.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||+ 59.457|
|14.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 1:02.503|
|15.||Michael Caruso||Drive Racing||+ 1:03.740|
|16.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||1 lap behind|
|17.||Richie Stanaway||RABBLE.club Racing||1 lap behind|
|18.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||1 lap behind|
|19.||Jack Le Brocq||TEKNO Autosport||2 laps behind|
|20.||James Golding||Wilson Security Racing GRM||4 laps behind|
|21.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing Team||5 laps behind|
|22.||Garth Tander||Wilson Security Racing GRM||5 laps behind|
|23.||Craig Lowndes||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||9 laps behind|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Reason|
|DNF.||Nick Percat||Timken Racing||Collision|
|DNF.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Accident|
|DNF.||Tim Blanchard||Team CoolDrive||Collision|
- Shane van Gisbergen was issued a 25-second post-race time penalty for a pit lane infringement, demoting him from 1st to 5th.
Image via LAT