After a horror round at the preceding Melbourne 400 at Albert Park, Red Bull Holden Racing Team took out Race 8 at Symmons Plains thanks to Shane van Gisbergen securing the team’s first victory of 2019 and in doing so ending the Ford Mustang dominance of the 2019 Supercars Championship season thus far.
Wet and windy weather looked to play a role as the cars lined up on the grid for a race start, however only light rain fell which didn’t do much in the way of affecting the race outcome.
Having survived a post-qualifying protest by Tickford Racing to be stripped of pole position for impeding Chaz Mostert, van Gisbergen bolted from lights out and took an early race lead. Further down the grid, the Penrite Racing ZB Commodore of David Reynolds had a less than ideal start and was overtaken by Mark Winterbottom and Scott McLaughlin by the exit of Turn 3, slotting into fifth place.
Red Bull Holden Racing used the greasy conditions to their favour with van Gisbergen pulling away from Coulthard’s Mustang in the early laps. Coulthard made his first of two compulsory pit stops on Lap 24, rejoining behind teammate Scott Mclaughlin who pitted 10 laps earlier, but due to Coulthard’s newer tyres he was quickly back into second position.
Van Gisbergen made his stop on Lap 29 coming back out of the pits side-by-side with Coulthard. The Penske Mustang won the ensuing battle before McLaughlin got involved as well to try and deny van Gisbergen of second place.
McLaughlin and van Gisbergen wrestled over second place with the Red Bull Holden driver eventually holding on over his compatriot. Coulthard, meanwhile, had skipped clear and held a two-second lead.
With Van Gisbergen having fresher tyres than the race leader, Coulthard was quickly reeled in and on Lap 43 van Gisbergen dived inside Coulthard at Turn 6 to take the lead of the race.
Having fallen 2.5 seconds behind van Gisbergen, Coulthard made a dash to the pits for his second stop on Lap 55. He could do nothing to close down van Gisbergen, who claimed victory by 5.2 seconds. The win was the 32nd of van Gisbergen’s Supercars career and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s first of 2019.
Coulthard secured back-to-back podium finishes, but his eventual second place finish didn’t come easily thanks to a late-race battle with Reynolds, who briefly took second before Coulthard reclaimed the position.
Championship leader McLaughlin consolidated his points lead – which now sits at 124 points to teammate Coulthard – by finishing fourth, marking the first time in 2019 he hasn’t won a race he finished.
Jamie Whincup atoned for a disastrous Saturday by finishing in fifth place in the second Red Bull Racing Holden ahead of Mark Winterbottom (Team 18 Holden). Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing Holden), Scott Pye (Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden), Lee Holdsworth (Tickford Racing Ford) and Chaz Mostert (Tickford Racing) rounded out the top ten finishers.
Anton de Pasquale should have finished inside the top ten, but his Erebus Holden suffered a broken gearshift stick. Stuck in one gear and unable to shift, his team opted to keep him out on track to collect championship points; he finished an eventual 23rd.
While not a classified finisher due to a lengthy pit stop to cure an electrical issue, Kelly Racing rookie Garry Jacobson was hit with a $3,000 fine and a loss of 30 championship points by the stewards after he was found to have breached Rule 5.11.2 for failing to activate the brake lock mechanism during his pit stops.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship TyrePower Tasmania SuperSprint – Race 8 Final Classification (84 laps)|
|1.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing||1:14:12.510|
|2.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing||+ 5.188|
|3.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 6.878|
|4.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing||+ 13.849
|5.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 16.639
|6.||Mark Winterbottom||Irwin Racing||+ 18.143|
|7.||Nick Percat||Dunlop Racing||+ 31.506|
|8.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 34.967|
|9.||Lee Holdsworth||The Bottle-O Racing||+ 36.134|
|10.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 41.887|
|11.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 44.332|
|12.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||+ 44.624|
|13.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 48.633
|14.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||+ 51.529|
|15.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||1 lap behind
|16.||James Golding||Boost Mobile Racing||1 lap behind|
|17.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||1 lap behind|
|18.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||1 lap behind|
|19.||Richie Stanaway||Boost Mobile Racing||1 lap behind|
|20.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||1 lap behind|
|21.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||1 lap behind|
|22.||Jack Le Brocq||Truck Assist TEKNO||1 lap behind|
|23.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||2 laps behind|
|24.||Jack Smith||SCT Logistics Racing||3 laps behind|
|NC.||Garry Jacobson||RABBLE.club Racing||22 laps behind|
Image via Red Bull Content Pool