Shane van Gisbergen claimed a controlled victory in the second Supercars race of the weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park ahead of Ford duo Andre Heimgartner and championship leader Scott McLaughlin.
The Red Bull Holden Racing driver set up the win with a great start from the front row, sweeping past pole-sitter McLaughlin and his DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard by taking a wide approach to Turn 1. This allowed him to sweep around the outside of the two fast-starting Fords to assume an early lead.
Having gambled and failed on an early tyre stop in Saturday’s opening race that led to him running out of tyre grip and falling from the lead to ninth place in the final two laps, van Gisbergen opted for a more balanced pit strategy this time around.
Delaying his compulsory tyre change to Lap 14 meant that he was undercut by Chaz Mostert and McLaughlin – who had stopped on Laps 5 and 6 respectively – when he emerged from the pit lane, but he would ultimately benefit from the better tyre grip at hand.
He overtook McLaughlin on his out-lap, narrowly managing not to spin the title leader in the process, before setting off after Mostert and passing the WAU Holden driver into Turn 1 on the next tour.
From there, he had an untroubled run to the chequered flag while an exciting battle for the remaining podium positions waged behind him.
With limited rear tyre grip, Mostert was under attack from both McLaughlin and Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner, who was delivering his most competitive showing since the team’s switch to Ford power in the off-season.
Having emerged on top of a scrap with Saturday race-winner Coulthard, he closed in on the Mostert-McLaughlin battle. Heimgartner grabbed his chance to pass the pair of them with a bold three-wide move on Lap 15, with McLaughlin demoting Mostert in the same move to effectively reclaim third place.
Mostert, meanwhile, tumbled down the order to finish eleventh by the chequered flag.
Coulthard claimed fourth place – giving New Zealand a sweep of the top four positions for the first time ever in the series.
It was another troubled race for McLaughlin’s championship rival Jamie Whincup, who finished in a lowly 17th place thanks to a lengthy pit stop. It amounted to a net loss of 50 points in the standings to McLaughlin, who now leads by 201 points with a maximum of 700 championship points available over the season’s remaining five races.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship The Bend SuperSprint I – Race 26 Final Classification (24 laps)|
|1.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||45:36.544|
|2.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 1.146|
|3.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 1.874|
|4.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 12.204|
|5.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 15.864|
|6.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 16.030|
|7.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 16.885|
|8.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 17.187|
|9.||Nick Percat||R&J Batteries||+ 20.086|
|10.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 25.532|
|11.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 25.570|
|12.||Todd Hazelwood||TRG Transport||+ 25.626|
|13.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 25.678|
|14.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 26.806|
|15.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||+ 27.537|
|16.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 27.847|
|17.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 33.524|
|18.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 33.861|
|19.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 39.069|
|20.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||+ 39.462|
|21.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 39.764|
|22.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 43.558|
|23.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 43.630|
|24.||Zane Goddard||UNIT Racing||+ 1:07.567|
Image via Motorsport.com
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