Van Gisbergen sweeps Sandown, Kostecki on podium

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen has completed yet another weekend sweep while Brodie Kostecki finished second in the final race at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint.

Van Gisbergen, who carried a broken left collarbone into the weekend, is now undefeated in the last six races dating back to last year’s Bathurst 1000 after effectively leading all the way in Race 5 of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

He scooped a total of 105 points from the latest encounter, having set the fastest lap on his final lap, and is now 150 points clear of Triple Eight Race Engineering team-mate Jamie Whincup at the top of the standings.

Kostecki posed something of a threat through the middle third of the wet, 36-lap contest, but started the final lap almost 11 seconds back from the #97 ZB Commodore after an error on his out lap.

It proved to be of little consequence, however, as the Erebus Motorsport driver still took the chequered flag eight seconds clear of David Reynolds, who finished third.

Said van Gisbergen shortly after the race, “It’s unreal.

“I’ve got to thank the team so much, the car has been awesome, and helping me through the last few weeks.

“Super cool, awesome to race in front of fans again in Melbourne, thanks for coming out.”

Whincup made it Red Bull Ampol Racing cars first and fourth, with Will Davison fifth, ahead of Cameron Waters, Will Brown, Todd Hazelwood, Nick Percat, and Mark Winterbottom.

Chaz Mostert scrounged a handful of points by making the finish, albeit in 24th position at seven laps down, and dropped a spot to third in the championship.

He had already looked like ceding significant ground relative to van Gisbergen as the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore ran midfield on merit, before suffering a broken throttle cable.

With rain falling over Sandown International Motor Raceway, all 24 drivers started on wets, and that is how they would remain for the duration.

The pole-sitting van Gisbergen got the jump on Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) when the race got underway, with Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) taking up third and Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) fourth, while Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) made fifth his own as the field exited the first corner.

Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) took sixth when he went down the inside of Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) at the fourth corner of the race, then picked off Heimgartner at the start of Lap 2.

Whincup gave up second spot to Reynolds when he went wide at Turn 11 at the end of Lap 2, before Davison rotated between Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 3, dropping to 11th.

That elevated Kostecki to fourth, and he grabbed third off Whincup when he got a better run onto the main straight as they completed Lap 7.

With 10 laps in the books, van Gisbergen had just moved his margin over Reynolds past four seconds, before Kostecki drove past the Kelly Grove Racing entry as they exited Turn 4 on Lap 12.

That released the Erebus pilot to establish himself as the fastest driver on track for a period of time, although traffic also played a significant role in the margin between him and van Gisbergen falling to as low as 3.33s on Lap 22.

It was 4.47s when van Gisbergen pitted four laps later for new wets on the rear of Car #97, putting Kostecki into the official race lead.

The man in Car #99 held top spot until Kostecki peeled off with two laps remaining, rejoining a bit over five seconds behind Car #97 before what would be a minor hiccup when he straight-lined Turn 2/Turn 3.

Reynolds had been into the lane on Lap 31 and ultimately took a lonely third, while Whincup ran fourth, officially or at least effectively, all the way from the time he was passed by Kostecki until the chequered flag.

Davison showed good pace to regain most of what he lost with the early spin, while sixth for Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) was a little better than the Tickford Racing driver looked like getting when he was battling around the back end of the top 10 in the early stages.

Seventh for Brown (#9 Ozland ZB Commodore) was a net gain of 12 positions, while Hazelwood (#14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore) came from 16th on the grid to eighth and Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) from 13th to ninth.

Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) is fifth in the championship, just behind Waters, after finishing 10th, while Heimgartner was 11th all told in Race 5 and Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) 12th.

The next Supercars Championship event is the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains on April 10-11.

Results: Race 5, Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 36 48:18.1843
2 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 48:32.9974
3 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 36 48:41.2267
4 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 36 48:47.9972
5 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 36 48:49.2917
6 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 36 48:58.4880
7 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:01.0497
8 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:04.1410
9 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:04.5671
10 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:08.7755
11 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 36 49:11.1953
12 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 36 49:13.4429
13 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:14.7881
14 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 49:15.5981
15 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 36 49:16.8341
16 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 36 49:25.4537
17 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 35 48:22.0089
18 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 35 48:22.0545
19 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 35 48:26.8183
20 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 35 48:29.0518
21 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 35 48:35.8767
22 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 35 48:44.6674
23 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 35 49:27.0303
24 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 29 49:19.7723

Fastest lap (bonus): Shane van Gisbergen 1:18.6074, Lap 36

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 605
2 Jamie Whincup 455
3 Chaz Mostert 442
4 Cameron Waters 435
5 Mark Winterbottom 411
6 Will Davison 377
7 Andre Heimgartner 326
8 Nick Percat 317
9 David Reynolds 316
10 Brodie Kostecki 313
11 Jack Le Brocq 286
12 Bryce Fullwood 283
13 Todd Hazelwood 273
14 Scott Pye 270
15 William Brown 260
16 James Courtney 250
17 Anton De Pasquale 240
18 Jake Kostecki 220
19 Zane Goddard 218
20 Fabian Coulthard 196
21 Jack Smith 182
22 Garry Jacobson 137
23 Tim Slade 136
24 Macauley Jones 134

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 1060
2 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 725
3 6 44 Tickford Racing 685
4 18 20 Team 18 681
5 7 26 Kelly Grove Racing 642
6 11 17 100 Dick Johnson Racing 617
7 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 590
8 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 573
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 438
10 19 22 Team Sydney 333
11 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 316
12 5 Tickford Racing 286
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 136

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