Van Gisbergen goes back-to-back in Darwin

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen has extended his Repco Supercars Championship lead with a second straight victory at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

As the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver did in Race 13, he got the jump on pole-sitter Will Davison and effectively led all 38 laps in Race 14 of the season at Hidden Valley Raceway.

The top four at the finish was also a repeat, with Davison second in his #17 Shell V-Power Mustang, Jamie Whincup third in the #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore, and Chaz Mostert one position off the podium in the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore.

After his eighth win of the campaign, van Gisbergen’s lead on the points table is 221 over Triple Eight Race Engineering team-mate Whincup, with Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Mostert a further nine behind in third.

“Awesome,” said the race winner.

“Again at the start, I don’t know what’s happened, I got three beauties and yeah, just managed the pace and drove away when tyres were nice.

“Man, I’ve got to thank Red Bull Ampol Racing; our car wasn’t very good and we just chipped away.

“All weekend it’s been really good from the races, so just stoked, it’s awesome.”

When the lights went out, #97 made a good start from the outside of the front row and took a clear lead to the first corner.

Whincup tried to go to the outside of the Dick Johnson Racing Fords Davison and Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) which ran second and third respectively, but got hung wide through and exiting Turn 1.

He dropped back to seventh as a consequence, with fourth through sixth being James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore).

Eighth through 10th once the field had sorted itself out was Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore), Mostert, and Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), with Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) 11th.

Whincup went down the inside of Pye at on Lap 3 at Turn 1, then got Percat at the same corner a lap later, with a little tap on the way through.

Van Gisbergen appeared to be backing up the DJR Mustangs in the early stages but pulled a second clear on Lap 6 and doubled that margin in another six laps.

Meanwhile, Winterbottom pitted from eighth on Lap 5 and Percat from sixth on Lap 8, each for another set of rears.

At the end of Lap 14, De Pasquale peeled off from third and Whincup from fifth, the former taking on working side tyres.

They exited the lane in reverse order after the former stalled at the drop, and #11 also lost positions to Percat and Winterbottom by the time he came up to speed.

Davison was 2.4s back from van Gisbergen when he pitted on Lap 15, resuming ahead of Whincup and therefore still in an effective second position.

Team-mate De Pasquale, however, ceded another four positions when he lunged at Winterbottom on Lap 17 and sailed off the race track at Turn 1.

Van Gisbergen and Mostert, the latter officially fourth, stopped at the end of Lap 17, rejoining eighth and 11th respectively, with Davison and Whincup between.

As was also the case in Race 13, Davison gained ground on #97 after the stops, the gap falling below one second within five laps.

The new official leader, Courtney, continued to circulate until Lap 25, but the longer first stint did not seem to cost him too much when he popped out between Mostert and Percat, and thus effectively fifth.

In another repeat of Race 13, the CPS cycle completed when Pye took service at the end of Lap 27, and that was when a problem with the left-rear wheel nut cost him time.

With the order cleansed, van Gisbergen’s advantage over Davison was just above 1.0s, while Whincup held third.

Fourth onwards with 11 laps to go was Mostert from Courtney, Percat, Winterbottom, Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), Waters, Will Brown (#9 Ozland Group Solutions ZB Commodore), Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang), and De Pasquale.

Waters grabbed eighth when he dived past Slade on Lap 29 at Turn 6, while van Gisbergen’s lead was back above 1.5s as the race ticked into the final five laps.

Randle ran wide at the final corner on Lap 33 and while De Pasquale passed him up the main straight, the Tickford driver reclaimed 11th spot immediately with a bold move under brakes at Turn 1.

Van Gisbergen was continuing to pull away from Davison, and they were separated by 2.3207s at the chequered flag.

Whincup and Mostert were each less than a second further back at the finish, with Courtney fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Percat, Winterbottom, Waters, Slade, and Brown, the latter of whom got the fastest lap bonus points for the first time.

Randle remained 11th and De Pasquale 12th, with Pye claiming 17th.

All 26 starters completed all 38 laps except for Andre Heimgartner, who retired with suspension problems in the #7 Ned Mustang.

The next event is the NTI Townsville 500 on July 9-11.

Results: Race 14, Merlin Darwin Triple Crown

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:32.2764
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 38 43:34.5971
3 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:35.3072
4 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:36.2952
5 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 38 43:38.0056
6 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:44.2052
7 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:44.9363
8 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 38 43:45.4817
9 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 38 43:49.9716
10 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:54.3230
11 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 38 43:54.5787
12 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 38 43:55.0274
13 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:58.8274
14 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 38 43:59.8729
15 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 38 44:00.1774
16 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:02.5390
17 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:07.6896
18 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:10.6775
19 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 38 44:11.9305
20 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:12.7455
21 14 Pizza Hut Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:14.1256
22 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:15.9690
23 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:18.9952
24 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:29.8963
25 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 38 44:30.6723
NC 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 4 8:18.7744

Fastest lap (bonus): William Brown 1:07.1903, Lap 7

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1361
2 Jamie Whincup 1140
3 Chaz Mostert 1131
4 Will Davison 1087
5 Cameron Waters 1064
6 Mark Winterbottom 861
7 Nick Percat 827
8 Anton De Pasquale 762
9 James Courtney 744
10 William Brown 741
11 Brodie Kostecki 737
12 Andre Heimgartner 722
13 Scott Pye 690
14 Bryce Fullwood 663
15 David Reynolds 644
16 Jack Le Brocq 634
17 Todd Hazelwood 581
18 Tim Slade 562
19 Jake Kostecki 548
20 Zane Goddard 532
21 Fabian Coulthard 416
22 Jack Smith 382
23 Macauley Jones 378
24 Garry Jacobson 353
25 Thomas Randle 260
26 Kurt Kostecki 222

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 2501
2 11 17 100 Dick Johnson Racing 1849
3 6 44 Tickford Racing 1808
4 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 1794
5 18 20 Team 18 1551
6 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 1478
7 7 26 Kelly Grove Racing 1366
8 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 1322
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 1080
10 19 22 Team Sydney 769
11 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 760
12 5 Tickford Racing 634
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 562
14 55 Tickford Racing 260
15 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United 222

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