Fabian Coulthard has taken out Race 17 as the championship title race ignited following a clash between rivals Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen.
Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) assumed the lead inside the final 10 laps shortly after a controversial Safety Car restart between race leader McLaughlin and van Gisbergen, which is set to be investigated after the race.
The race was neutralised due to debris on the circuit at Turn 9 when Todd Kelly suffered a violent right rear tyre failure.
However, with 10 laps of the race remaining, McLaughlin and van Gisbergen made side-to-side contact on the start/finish straight ahead of the restart.
Van Gisbergen made the most of the situation to dive under neath McLaughlin for the lead before the the latter touched the rear of the Red Bull Holden, resulting in a spin for the #97 at Turn 2.
McLaughlin soon surrendered the lead, gained after the pit stops, to team-mate Coulthard before being hit with a 15 second time penalty for his role in the Turn 2 incident.
As a result, Coulthard went on to claim the victory from McLaughlin on the road but the championship leader fell to 10th after the penalty.
McLaughlin immediately apologised to van Gisbergen after the race for the Turn 2 clash.
“It was an absolute balls-up on my behalf, and sorry to him and his team,” said McLaughlin, who saw his championship lead cut to 78 points.
“I saw Jamie got damage too, so not the way I want to do it, but glad for Shell V-Power Racing, they at least get a win. Sorry to everyone at home; sorry, it’s not my style.
“[Restart] I just got caught sleeping. I’ve got to look at a lot of stuff for myself tonight, it wasn’t the best race for my behalf. Sorry again to Shane, my fault, and we’ll move on tomorrow.”
Chaz Mostert, who was seventh at the Safety Car restart, came through to second, while Jamie Whincup miraculously completed the podium despite suffering heavy damage to the front of his Red Bull Holden.
The six-time champion ran into the rear of Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds at Turn 2, who was running third when McLaughlin tagged the rear of van Gisbergen.
Reynolds came home in eighth after severe damage to the front of his Holden when he checked up and found the back of McLaughlin during the Turn 2 clash.
Mark Winterbottom came through to finish fourth having initially led the race after McLaughlin suffered a slow start and dropped to third in the early laps.
The Prodrive driver lost the lead to van Gisbergen prior to the pit stops but the Turn 2 clash brought him back into play.
Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s Scott Pye scored his best result of the season in fifth ahead of Nissan Motorsport’s Michael Caruso.
Craig Lowndes brought his Triple Eight Holden home in seventh, while Reynolds, Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander and McLaughlin completed the top 10.
Van Gisbergen went on to finish in 15th spot after charging through the field in the final laps having dropped to 25th spot after the clash the saw him facing the wrong direction.
“He hit me once, I tried to correct it, and then he finished me off,” said van Gisbergen.
“To his credit he was straight here apologising, (so) all good.
“The thing that frustrates me is he only got 15s for it and we’re at the back, but bigger people than me make those decisions.”
The opening lap proved to be a frantic one as contact from James Courtney sent Will Davison spinning at Turn 1.
Prodrive’s Jason Bright was also caught up in the incident as he was sent broadside, and luckily avoided contact from the rest of the pack.
VIDEO: Race re-start and Turn 2 incident
Results: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship: Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint: Race 17
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:29.1701|
|2||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:33.1537|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:36.6177|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:37.9522|
|5||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:38.4943|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||31||49:39.3572|
|7||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:39.5512|
|8||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:46.2086|
|9||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:46.6264|
|10||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:47.6283|
|11||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:48.2483|
|12||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||31||49:48.5494|
|13||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:50.6579|
|14||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:51.1027|
|15||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:51.3331|
|16||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:53.0399|
|17||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:54.4468|
|18||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:54.9097|
|19||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:55.2756|
|20||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||49:56.3902|
|21||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:56.7073|
|22||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||31||49:57.2764|
|23||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore VF||31||49:59.0594|
|24||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||31||50:10.4728|
|25||ACDelco Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||31||50:58.3812|
|26||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||30||50:44.1414|
|4||Shane Van Gisbergen||1695|
|23||Simona De Silvestro||687|
|30||Jack Le Brocq||135|