Van Gisbergen jumps Waters to win Race 2
Sunday 28th February, 2021 - 4:36pm
Shane van Gisbergen is undefeated in the 2021 Supercars Championship after jumping Cameron Waters to win Race 2 at the Repco Mount Panorama 500.
Waters bettered van Gisbergen from the outside of the front row when the lights went out but was left vulnerable to the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver when he exited the lane after his first pit stop.
The Race 1 winner duly blazed past up Mountain Straight and rolled out a succession of fastest laps to essentially end the contest then and there.
Waters did finish second in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang, although more than six seconds back, while Chaz Mostert got onto the podium for the second time in as many days in the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore.
Anton De Pasquale (#100 Shell V-Power Mustang), who gave up a spot to Mostert with an early error, ended up fourth and Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) once again crept up the order, this time to fifth at the chequered flag.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jamie Whincup (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore), Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang), and Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore).
James Courtney was the only non-finisher of the 23 who started after crashing the #44 Boost Mobile Mustang at The Cutting while effectively eighth.
At the start, it was Waters getting the jump on pole-sitter van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) to take a clear lead to Hell Corner, with De Pasquale third.
Davison held out Mostert to retain fourth on the exit from Griffins Bend, but could not shake the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver entirely.
Mostert continued to stalk Car #17 before making the move at Hell Corner on Lap 3, while Winterbottom and Whincup continued to run in sixth and seventh.
Courtney had been running eighth but backed into the wall at The Cutting shortly after his first pit stop.
He managed to drive the wounded Tickford Racing car away from the crash site but the incident may have been what enticed Whincup to take service on Lap 9.
Davison was into the lane on Lap 10, Mostert on Lap 12, and De Pasquale on Lap 13.
De Pasquale got out just ahead of Mostert but, under pressure from #25, ran wide at The Chase on his out lap and ceded the effective third spot.
As that was going on, van Gisbergen pitted from almost 1.3s behind Waters, which Tickford covered by calling Car #6 to the lane next time around.
They sunk an estimated two litres more fuel than Triple Eight Race Engineering did into Car #97 and that was costly, because van Gisbergen had the momentum, and tyre temperature, to pass Waters up Mountain Straight.
Rubbing salt into the wounds, van Gisbergen set the fastest lap on that lap, and on each of the next two, to disappear to a 2.6s lead, much more than the roughly half-second which #6 had in hand with the extra fuel.
With the first pit stop cycle done, Mostert was third, from De Pasquale, Davison, Whincup, and Winterbottom.
Van Gisbergen continued to stretch the margin he enjoyed over Waters, which was around 3.8s when they pitted together, along with De Pasquale, on Lap 23.
The rest of the front-runners had already been into the lane a second time by then except for Winterbottom, and when the 2013 Bathurst 1000 winner did take that stop, he managed to split the Dick Johnson Racing Mustangs on exit.
Once Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) had pitted on Lap 27, the order at the front was cleansed for the run home and van Gisbergen was almost 4.4s up on Waters.
Mostert was back into third, from De Pasquale, Winterbottom, Davison, Whincup, Heimgartner, Pye, and Percat.
Van Gisbergen moved his advantage over Waters past five seconds on Lap 29, while Whincup was gifted sixth position by Davison a lap later when the DJR man ran off at Murray’s Corner.
That was the last of the moves in the top 10 as van Gisbergen cruised to a season-opening double, having also won the Bathurst 1000 at the very end of the last season.
“It wasn’t a great start, it was a shocker, he got me,” admitted the race winner.
“That’s a team win, a strategy win; the car was awesome.
“Unfortunately, you can’t battle on track so we had to try and win it in the pit lane and we did.
“That middle stint was just insane; it was so cool to get such a good car and just push in clean air.
“Thanks to my team, Red Bull Ampol Racing; great way to start the year.”
About the middle stint, he explained, “[Engineer David] Cauchi just asked me to make the gap and normally here you’re managing tyres and everything.
“[But,] I only had eight laps to do on those tyres and just did qualifying laps the whole time, watching a sub-par energy drink get smaller in the mirror.
“It was pretty cool but, hey, it’s awesome, and also to have fans here again as well and to win here with an atmosphere is awesome as well, so, super stoked.”
David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) finished in 11th, from Brodie Kostecki (#99 Erebus Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), Fullwood, Will Brown (#9 Erebus WD-40 ZB Commodore), and Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore).
Van Gisbergen’s perfect score gives him a 33-point lead over the chasing pack, which is headed up by Mostert.
The next event is the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint on March 20-21.
Results: Race 2, Repco Mount Panorama 500
|1||97||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:26:39.2786|
|2||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:26:45.4062|
|3||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:26:47.9593|
|4||100||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:26:58.6495|
|5||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:02.5561|
|6||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:08.4299|
|7||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:27:09.6692|
|8||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:12.4560|
|9||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:27:21.8172|
|10||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:25.6174|
|11||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:27:26.2327|
|12||99||Erebus Boost Mobile Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:27.6157|
|13||2||Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:28.4792|
|14||9||Erebus WD-40 Racing||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:34.0174|
|15||96||Coca-Cola Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:41.2741|
|16||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:42.9152|
|17||34||UNIT Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:27:45.7801|
|18||14||Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:28:01.3429|
|19||5||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||40||1:28:10.6659|
|20||22||Team SYDNEY||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:28:18.1864|
|21||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||40||1:28:44.5101|
|22||19||Local Legends||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore ZB||39||1:28:11.2009|
|NC||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||9||21:38.5161|
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||300|
|9||Jack Le Brocq||150|
|18||Anton De Pasquale||120|
|1||88||97||Triple Eight Race Engineering||498|
|2||2||25||Walkinshaw Andretti United||444|
|4||17||100||Dick Johnson Racing||345|
|5||7||26||Kelly Grove Racing||300|
|8||8||14||Brad Jones Racing||258|
|9||34||35||Matt Stone Racing||246|
|10||4||96||Brad Jones Racing||156|
|13||3||Blanchard Racing Team||0|