SVG evens score in Pukekohe battle
Shane van Gisbergen held off a spirited early challenge from Jamie Whincup to make it a win apiece for the Red Bull pair at Pukekohe.
The day’s second 100km sprint race began with a thrilling battle between the duo which again shared the front-row of the grid.
Unlike the early race, Van Gisbergen made the best of the starts to hold off his team-mate across the opening sequence of corners.
Whincup dived down the inside at the Turn 8 hairpin on both of the opening two laps, running side-by-side on the exit before ultimately failing to make the move stick on each occasion.
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Van Gisbergen was able to then gradually edge away before taking the flag 2.2s ahead after 35 laps.
Whincup ran through the Turn 5/6 chicane during his pursuit of Van Gisbergen, who restores his championship lead to the 148 points it was at the start of the day.
“I made a good start but Shane had a better one,” conceded Whincup post-race.
“We had a good old battle and he was pretty ballsy through the second last corner (on the second lap).
“I thought I’d raise him on the last (by trying to hang on around the outside).
“The car is very good and it is good to get a one-two.”
Aside from the opening two laps, the sprint race format provided little in the way of action for the enthusiastic Pukekohe crowd.
Chaz Mostert, Fabian Coulthard, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, Scott McLaughlin, David Reynolds and Michael Caruso filled third through ninth for the entire journey.
Garth Tander marched his way forward from 15th to 10th, making his final place in a spirited late-race battle with his 2017 replacement Scott Pye.
Further back, a 15th place finish for Craig Lowndes sees his third place in the standings under increasing threat from McLaughlin.
The gap between the pair sits at just 22 points with four races and 450 points in the season remaining.
Just 25 cars started the race, with Brad Jones Racing working to repair Jason Bright’s Holden for tomorrow following its heavy crash in Race 24.
A further two 100km races take place tomorrow.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship ITM Auckland Super Sprint Race 25
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||35||37:36.12|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||35||37:38.30|
|3||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||37:45.41|
|4||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||37:48.47|
|5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||37:49.98|
|6||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||35||37:54.24|
|7||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||35||37:55.99|
|8||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:01.75|
|9||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||35||38:02.77|
|10||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:03.94|
|11||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||38:06.13|
|12||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||35||38:06.45|
|13||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:06.82|
|14||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||35||38:08.05|
|15||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:09.04|
|16||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||35||38:10.65|
|17||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||38:14.71|
|18||Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:15.29|
|19||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:15.49|
|20||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:15.94|
|21||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||35||38:17.73|
|22||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:18.15|
|23||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:20.07|
|24||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||35||38:24.16|
|25||Erebus Motorsport||Shae Davies||Holden Commodore VF||35||38:30.06|
|1||Shane Van Gisbergen||2956|
|46||Jack Le Brocq||303|
|49||Chris van der Drift||234|
|53||Simona de Silvestro||126|