Shane van Gisbergen broke his 2020 winless run with a fine drive to victory in the fifth race of the Supercars Championship double-header at Townsville, and in doing so gave the Triple Eight Race Engineering stable its 200th race win in the category.
Van Gisbergen started fourth on the grid and made a terrific start, tucking in behind pole-sitter Nick Percat and championship leader Scott McLaughlin on the run to Turn 2. While the two front-row starters both hugged the inside line to the right-hander, van Gisbergen took the wider line and rounded up McLaughlin to slot into second place.
The New Zealander ran in the wake of Percat but on the seventh lap he made a brilliant lunge up the inside of the BJR Holden driver at the final corner to snatch the lead.
Once in front, he had an unchallenged run to the chequered flag and claimed victory over McLaughlin by over 8 seconds. In a strong race for the Red Bull Holden stable, his teammate Jamie Whincup chased McLaughlin hard in the final laps but was denied a 1-2 finish.
Percat fell back to fourth place, with his team’s strategy of a long opening stint not helping his cause. While it meant he had better tyres in the final laps, his strategy left him reliant on an unlikely Safety Car intervention to give him hope of threatening the top-three.
Cameron Waters led the Tickford Racing charge, hustling his Ford Mustang to fifth while teammates Jack Le Brocq and Lee Holdsworth finished seventh and eighth respectively.
Nestled among the trio was Team 18 Holden driver Scott Pye, who once again had to work hard to overcome his poor one-lap pace with a fine sixth place finish. His teammate Mark Winterbottom finished in ninth, while WAU Holden’s Chaz Mostert rounded out the top ten.
The sixth and final race of the Townsville double-header takes place later this afternoon, with Percat and his teammate Todd Hazelwood – who claimed pole position for the first time in his career – locking out the front row of the grid.
Series leader McLaughlin qualified a frustrated tenth-fastest thanks to being baulked by Garry Jacobson and will have to work hard to limit the likely damage Whincup – who starts from fifth – will inflict to his 149-point lead.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship Townsville SuperSprint II – Race 23 Final Classification (39 laps)|
|1.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||49:32.758|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 8.395|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 10.293|
|4.||Nick Percat||R&J Batteries||+ 13.567|
|5.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 14.807|
|6.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 16.128|
|7.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 33.857|
|8.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 36.309|
|9.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||+ 38.404|
|10.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 42.971|
|11.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 43.193|
|12.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 43.421|
|13.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 44.405|
|14.||Todd Hazelwood||Team Black Duck||+ 48.110|
|15.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 48.304|
|16.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 49.481|
|17.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 52.139|
|18.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 52.505|
|19.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||+ 52.673|
|20.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 52.752|
|21.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 56.058|
|22.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 58.301|
|23.||Jake Kostecki||UNIT Racing||+ 58.785|
|24.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 1:03.753|
- Todd Hazelwood was issued a 15-second time penalty for a pit stop infringement.
Image via Red Bull Holden Racing Team
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