Van Gisbergen wins ahead of huge podium battle

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen has won a weather-affected Race 4 at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint as late drama unfolded behind him in the battle for the minors.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver remains unbeaten in this year’s Repco Supercars Championship while Cameron Waters picked up a third straight second placing despite being unloaded by regular adversary Chaz Mostert inside the final three laps.

Mostert redressed and ultimately finished fourth, with Jamie Whincup again joining his victorious Triple Eight Race Engineering team-mate on the podium.

Andre Heimgartner was also involved in the stoush and went on to take the chequered flag in fifth after 36 laps, ahead of Nick Percat, James Courtney, Scott Pye, Tim Slade, and Will Davison.

Waters had emerged in second spot upon completion of the pit stop cycle, which saw everyone switch from wets to slicks as the early-race rain disappeared and the track surface began to dry.

He got as close as around 2.5s behind van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) with a little under 10 laps to go, but his hopes of victory diminished when Mostert soon began to hound him.

They very nearly hit as they ran up the back straight before matters reached something of a flashpoint when Mostert showed the nose again at Turn 1 on Lap 34.

He nicked the left-hand side of the #6 Monster Energy Mustang and Waters completed a full rotation but managed to catch the spin once he was facing the right way again.

Mostert slowed significantly in an act of redress, but that allowed Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) to charge through at the Turn 2/Turn 3 complex and pinch third position, with Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) also closing in on the back of the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore.

A lap later, Mostert was having another crack at Turn 1, and while that was somewhat cleaner, he took both himself and Heimgartner wide, creating a big hole for Whincup to drive through.

Van Gisbergen, by then, was 12 seconds up the road from Waters, with Whincup third, Mostert fourth, and Heimgartner fifth, and that was how they finished.

“It was awesome and good battle with Chaz,” said van Gisbergen.

“When the Safety Car came out, we pulled up beside and we both did thumbs up to each; it was pretty cool.

“But once it dried up, my car got better and better.

“He obviously must have had a bit less tyre pressure, which explains why he was so good on the first lap.

“Really, really cool.”

Back at the beginning, all 24 drivers were armed with wet tyres as light rain fell over the southeast Melbourne circuit.

Whincup bettered van Gisbergen from the outside of the front row when the lights went out, and swept into the lead when he went the long way around Turn 1.

He held position despite running through the infield upon arrival at Turn 2/Turn 3, but his re-entry crimped van Gisbergen for room and that enabled Mostert to go past and claim second position up the back straight.

Mostert had the lead before the standing lap was out, having also got a run on Whincup when the seven-time champion ran wide at Dandenong Road, and van Gisbergen went underneath his team-mate at the end of the main straight on Lap 2.

Van Gisbergen put a move on the race-leading Walkinshaw Andretti United entry at Turn 11/Turn 12 on Lap 2, and again at Dandenong Road on Lap 3, but could not make either stick, and Mostert emerged still in front when he toured the infield two corners later.

Meanwhile, Waters ran fourth, from Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) and Heimgartner, while a number of battles were unfolding behind them.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) had run off at Dandenong Road having not long passed both of the Dick Johnson Racing Mustangs for seventh, and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) was sent into a spin, and ultimately to the pits with damage, around the back of the top 10 after Lap 2 contact with Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) at Turn 4.

A ceasefire was called on Lap 4, albeit to recover the #96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore of Macauley Jones which had developed some sort of engine-related problem, before the restart came for the start of Lap 9.

Mostert carried an advantage of barely more than a tenth of a second in taking the green flag and, possibly having encountered the oil which Jones’ car had deposited, ceded first position to van Gisbergen at the end of the main straight.

Moments later, Whincup dropped behind Waters, Heimgartner, and Courtney, having got caught high on the Turn 4 exit kerb.

Van Gisbergen moved a second clear of the field on Lap 10 while Whincup passed Courtney a lap later, then took fourth back off Heimgartner on Lap 14 as they braked for Turn 1.

Drivers began to look for water as the contest moved towards the halfway mark and, despite van Gisbergen reporting that light rain was returning, Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) was first to take his compulsory pit stop and switch to slicks, peeling off from ninth on Lap 19.

Waters and Heimgartner made the change on Lap 20, before van Gisbergen and Mostert, who were separated by 2.07s at the time, did likewise a lap later again.

Mostert got back out ahead of Waters but the latter had the advantage of warm tyres and made a forceful move at Turn 3 as the former battled with cold slicks.

Whincup and Courtney took their service on Lap 22 and the former was overhauled by Heimgartner in the battle for the effective fourth position as he exited the pits.

When the cycle completed on Lap 23, it was van Gisbergen by 3.46s over Waters, from Mostert, Heimgartner, Whincup, Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), Courtney, Pye, and Slade.

It was a relatively calm handful of laps which followed, before the aforementioned eruption in activity decided matters.

With the fastest lap bonus on offer for the second time, it was Whincup who picked up the extra five points for a 1:08.8762s on Lap 28.

Reynolds was last finisher in 22nd position, four laps off the pace, while Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) joined Jones on the retirement list, also with an apparent engine drama.

Van Gisbergen’s championship lead is now 80 points, with Mostert still second and Whincup third in the standings.

The final race of Event 2 of the season is scheduled for a start this afternoon at 16:30 local time/AEDT.

Results: Race 4, 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 50:27.7042
2 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 36 50:40.4929
3 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 36 50:40.7145
4 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 36 50:41.3905
5 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 36 50:42.0474
6 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 36 50:42.9284
7 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 36 50:51.2357
8 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 36 50:57.0690
9 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 36 50:57.7628
10 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 36 50:58.0753
11 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:01.4340
12 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 36 51:05.2376
13 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:06.5813
14 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:07.5952
15 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:09.1970
16 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:10.2668
17 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:13.2062
18 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:19.6731
19 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 36 51:33.0064
20 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 35 50:30.9910
21 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 35 50:32.4456
22 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 32 50:50.9125
NC 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 25 38:27.1390
NC 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 2 2:56.5388

Fastest lap (bonus): Jamie Whincup 1:08.8762, Lap 28

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 500
2 Chaz Mostert 420
3 Jamie Whincup 375
4 Cameron Waters 367
5 Mark Winterbottom 359
6 Will Davison 303
7 Andre Heimgartner 278
8 Nick Percat 261
9 Jack Le Brocq 248
10 Scott Pye 244
11 Bryce Fullwood 239
12 David Reynolds 230
13 Brodie Kostecki 221
14 Todd Hazelwood 213
15 James Courtney 210
16 William Brown 196
17 Anton De Pasquale 194
18 Zane Goddard 190
19 Jake Kostecki 178
20 Fabian Coulthard 166
21 Jack Smith 158
22 Garry Jacobson 105
23 Tim Slade 100
24 Macauley Jones 100

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 875
2 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 659
3 18 20 Team 18 603
4 6 44 Tickford Racing 577
5 7 26 Kelly Grove Racing 508
6 11 17 100 Dick Johnson Racing 497
7 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 474
8 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 417
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 368
10 19 22 Team Sydney 271
11 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 258
12 5 Tickford Racing 248
13 3 Team CoolDrive 100

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