Penalty fails to stop SVG/Premat in Race 22

Van Gisbergen and Premat stormed to victory

Van Gisbergen and Premat scored victory

Shane van Gisbergen and Alex Premat stormed to victory in the opening leg of the Castrol Gold Coast 600 despite a mid-race time penalty.

The pace-setter through practice and qualifying, Van Gisbergen watched on as Premat accelerated too soon on an early Safety Car restart, triggering a 10 second hold at his next stop.

The duo’s speed proved enough to overcome the setback to lead home the Scott McLaughlin/David Wall Volvo and second Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Red Bull Holden.

The race featured a two-lap sprint to the chequered flag after a major accident that saw Fabian Coulthard turned into the fence on the front straight by Garth Tander.

Coulthard, who had been holding down fifth, emerged from his heavily damaged Ford unscathed while Tander was dealt a drive-through and a 10 place grid penalty for tomorrow.

Mark Winterbottom/Dean Canto used an alternate strategy to score fourth ahead of James Moffat and James Golding, whose result came despite twice double stacking in the early stages.

Van Gisbergen now leads the championship by 160 points, while Premat has become the third Frenchman to win a Supercars race with Triple Eight behind Yvan Muller and Sebastien Bourdais.

Red Bull meanwhile now holds an unassailable lead over the Holden Racing Team in the Teams’ Championship.

“It was unfortunate to get the penalty but the car was amazing and we fought back,” smiled Van Gisbergen.

While the Coulthard/Tander clash was the most spectacular interruption, two early Safety Cars had scrambled the pit strategies for the 101 lap, 300km race.

Premat led Dumbrell through the first stint. The duo briefly swapped places on lap six before the former began to ease away.

Wall held down third before Winterbottom, who was the only primary driver to start, took the place during his charge through from ninth on the grid.

A crash from Jack Le Brocq on lap 23 triggered the first full course yellow, which saw the entire field dive in for an early first stop.

Premat remained in front for the restart ahead of Canto, now in Winterbottom’s car, Wall, Reindler and Dumbrell, who lost ground double-stacking behind his team-mate.

Accelerating away from the field too early ahead of the restart earned Premat his penalty in what has proven the Frenchman’s only fumble during the Pirtek Enduro Cup to date.

The Safety Car returned on lap 35 when Reindler tagged the Turn 3 concrete, ending a strong run for the Team 18 Holden.

Premat dived in to hand over to Van Gisbergen but was unable to serve his hold penalty due to the presence of the yellow flags.

Dumbrell led a seven-car train to stay out on the second yellow, while Canto and Van Gisbergen headed those to take on more fuel and rejoined at the back of the top 10.

Van Gisbergen came into his own in the next phase of the race, carving through to take the lead from Dumbrell by lap 51, making minor contact with the rear of the #88 as he did so.

His speed was such that he was able to make his third and final stop on lap 64 and retain the lead over the now Whincup-driven #88, despite having to serve his penalty.

McLaughlin had too been buried in the pack after pitting under the second yellow but emerged from his third stop between the Red Bulls.

The top three remained stagnant over the final stint to the flag despite the late restart.

In addition to boosting Van Gisbergen’s championship tilt, the result put the Kiwi and Premat in the box seat for the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

Closest rivals Will Davison/Jonathon Webb finished 16th after an early drive-through penalty for causing a multi-car pile-up at Turn 4 on lap 3.

Seventh-placed Webb bumped Dean Fiore into Craig Baird, who subsequently spun in front of the remainder of the field.

Baird was out on the spot, while the cars of Cameron McConville and Russell Ingall also took damage.

McConville battled on before a clash with Ash Walsh ended the #222 Holden’s day, halting a strong Enduro Cup campaign for the veteran and primary driver Nick Percat.

James Courtney meanwhile finished down the order after spending time in the garage attending to steering damage.

The race ran through its duration in overcast but dry conditions despite predictions that rain would hit in the closing stages.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Castrol Gold Coast 600 Race 22

1 Red Bull Racing Australia S.Van Gisbergen/A.Premat Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:45.5490
2 Wilson Security Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/D.Wall Volvo S60 102 02:21:46.1597
3 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:46.6898
4 The Bottle-O Racing Team M.Winterbottom/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 102 02:21:51.2088
5 Wilson Security Racing GRM J.Moffat/J.Golding Volvo S60 102 02:21:52.9219
6 TeamVortex C.Lowndes/S.Richards Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:53.0739
7 GB Galvanizing Racing D.Wood/D.Russell Nissan Altima 102 02:21:54.1832
8 carsales Racing T.Kelly/M.Campbell Nissan Altima 102 02:21:55.2317
9 Supercheap Auto Racing C.Mostert/S.Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 102 02:21:56.3776
10 Super Black Racing C.Pither/R.Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 102 02:21:57.6039
11 Freightliner Racing T.Slade/A.Walsh Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:57.8579
12 Team BOC J.Bright/A.Jones Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:58.0998
13 Plus Fitness Racing A.Heimgartner/A.Russell Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:58.5743
14 Team Cooldrive T.Blanchard/M.Jones Holden Commodore VF 102 02:21:58.9612
15 Holden Racing Team G.Tander/W.Luff Holden Commodore VF 102 02:22:22.1275
16 Team Darrell Lea STIX W.Davison/J.Webb Holden Commodore VF 102 02:22:33.2764
17 Nissan Motorsport M.Caruso/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 101 02:21:49.0556
18 DJR Team Penske S.Pye/T.D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG/X 101 02:21:51.7944
19 Erebus Motorsport S.Davies/C.van der Drift Holden Commodore VF 101 02:21:56.8982
20 Holden Racing Team J.Courtney/J.Perkins Holden Commodore VF  97 02:21:59.9782
21 Sengled Motorsport R.Kelly/R.Ingall Nissan Altima  85 02:22:19.0752
DNF DJR Team Penske F.Coulthard/L.Youlden Ford Falcon FG/X  95 02:07:56.7016
DNF Preston Hire Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VF  34    46:49.4621
DNF Monster Energy Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Falcon FG/X  21    26:09.6960
DNF Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VF  18    22:42.5490
DNF Erebus Motorsport Penrite Craig Baird Holden Commodore VF   4     7:08.7155

Championship Standings 

1 Shane Van Gisbergen 2674
2 Jamie Whincup 2514
3 Craig Lowndes 2307
4 Scott McLaughlin 2222
5 Will Davison 2169
6 Mark Winterbottom 2028
7 Chaz Mostert 1937
8 Tim Slade 1896
9 Michael Caruso 1872
10 James Courtney 1730
11 Garth Tander 1723
12 Fabian Coulthard 1708
13 Rick Kelly 1539
14 Todd Kelly 1531
15 Scott Pye 1453
16 Jason Bright 1308
17 Chris Pither 1249
18 Cameron Waters 1233
19 Dale Wood 1192
20 David Reynolds 1192
21 Nick Percat 1154
22 James Moffat 1113
23 Tim Blanchard 1085
24 Andre Heimgartner 863
25 Lee Holdsworth 786
26 Alex Premat 702
27 Aaren Russell 627
28 Jonathon Webb 615
29 David Wall 473
30 Cameron McConville 426
31 Luke Youlden 408
32 Paul Dumbrell 405
33 Steve Owen 402
34 Steven Richards 396
35 Tony D’Alberto 393
36 Ash Walsh 378
37 David Russell 366
38 Warren Luff 360
39 Dean Fiore 360
40 Richie Stanaway 324
41 Macauley Jones 309
42 Jack Perkins 296
43 Shae Davies 294
44 Matt Campbell 282
45 Jack Le Brocq 240
46 Chris van der Drift 234
47 Karl Reindler 213
48 Russell Ingall 198
49 Dean Canto 192
50 Craig Baird 174
51 Andrew Jones 153
52 Simona de Slvestro 126
53 Renee Gracie 126
54 James Golding 111
55 Kurt Kostecki 108

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