Van Gisbergen wins Race 16 in Triple Eight one-two

Shane van Gisbergen heads Jamie Whincup

Shane van Gisbergen has won Race 16 at the NTI Townsville 500 in the second Red Bull Ampol Racing one-two in as many days.

The encounter was very much a carbon copy of that which transpired an afternoon earlier, with Jamie Whincup leading the bulk of the race but not having the speed to keep his team-mate behind him all the way.

Van Gisbergen took the win on this occasion by 2.9259s, extending his lead in the Repco Supercars Championship to 245 points over Whincup, while the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Anton De Pasquale rounded out the podium.

That result was also a repeat of Race 15, with Car #11 a closer yet still distant 20.4086s from the second-placed #88 ZB Commodore, while Will Davison made it Dick Johnson Racing cars third and fourth.

Will Brown (#9 Pedders ZB Commodore) claimed fifth with a late move on Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), while seventh through 10th at the finish was Todd Hazelwood (#14 Pizza Hut ZB Commodore), Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore), and Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang).

The win is van Gisbergen’s 10th of the season and 50th of his career, about which he remarked, “That’s a pretty awesome number.

“Again, thanks to Red Bull Ampol Racing; our cars were fantastic.

“Another subpar start from me and then I had to pay for it all race but I feel a lot better today; the pace from myself was a lot smoother and just awesome to get another 300-pointer.”

Whincup made a good start from pole but van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) was slow away from the outside of the front row.

He was jumped by the two Brad Jones Racing drivers who qualified on Row 2, Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) and Hazelwood, before going deep under brakes on the outside at Turn 2.

Van Gisbergen was able to pinch third back from Hazelwood immediately, then went down the inside of Percat at Turn 11 before the standing lap was out.

Meanwhile, Waters ran fifth, ahead of Brown, De Pasquale, Slade, Davison (#17 Mustang), David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), and Mostert in 11th.

Davison passed Slade on Lap 2 and Mostert took 10th position off Reynolds on Lap 3, while Whincup was 1.2s clear of van Gisbergen and almost four seconds up on Percat after 10 laps.

Brown was wide at Turn 3 on Lap 18, allowing both De Pasquale and Davison through.

However, the Erebus Motorsport driver reclaimed seventh from #17 through Turn 10, and that allowed Slade to also slither down the inside of Davison at the hard stop at Turn 11.

De Pasquale quickly caught Waters and passed the #6 Mustang on Lap 22 at Turn 2, by which time van Gisbergen was back within a second of Whincup, but Percat drifting towards 10 seconds from the race lead.

Percat pitted on Lap 25 but his crew was not ready, with team owner Brad Jones later surmising that there might have been a miscommunication given his driver was experiencing a power steering issue and wanted a larger wheel.

Whincup was around 0.6s ahead of van Gisbergen when he stopped for the first time on Lap 28 before De Pasquale and Hazelwood, who had not long traded positions on the race track, came in on Lap 31.

Van Gisbergen was into the lane on Lap 32 and rejoined around 10 seconds behind Whincup, but had reportedly taken on around 91 litres of fuel compared to his team-mate’s fill of 77 litres.

When the cycle completed, the Triple Eight Race Engineering drivers were still top two, with Davison around three seconds further back in third having taken on around 54 litres.

De Pasquale (70 litres) was another eight seconds behind in fourth position, Waters sat fifth after a fill of only around 58 litres, and Hazelwood was passing early stopper Jake Kostecki (#34 Unit ZB Commodore) for sixth.

Eighth through 10th were Le Brocq, Brown, and Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore), all of whom would quickly pick off Jake Kostecki, while Mostert was 18th and Percat 20th.

Van Gisbergen was catching Whincup in the battle for the lead, and De Pasquale was making inroads on his team-mate Davison in the fight for the final podium position.

The DJR Mustangs’ paths converged on Lap 49 and Davison allowed #11 through on the run to Turn 2, at which time #97 was over 15 seconds up the road.

Van Gisbergen brought the on-track deficit to Whincup back under five seconds on Lap 50, and on Lap 53 was within four seconds, close to the fuel cross-over.

Davison was first of the front-runners to take his second stop, on Lap 55, Hazelwood was in on Lap 56, and Waters stopped on Lap 57.

They resumed in that order, while van Gisbergen was less than a second behind Whincup on Lap 58, although traffic was also a factor.

That may have explained why Whincup was back to 1.6s ahead when he pitted on Lap 60, taking the set of brand-new tyres which he had up his sleeve.

De Pasquale was a touch under nine seconds behind the official race leader when he took service on Lap 62, before van Gisbergen peeled off from first position and into the lane on Lap 65.

He was 6.0s adrift of Whincup once he tripped Sector 1 on his out lap, with De Pasquale almost 11 seconds further back in third, and Davison in fourth for the run home.

Waters had passed Hazelwood with contact on Lap 62 at Turn 2 and they sat fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of Brown, Slade, Le Brocq, and Mostert.

Van Gisbergen halved the gap to Whincup in the six laps after his second stop, while Brown went down the inside of Hazelwood to take over sixth spot on Lap 71 at Turn 13.

The current championship leader caught the race-leading seven-time champion on Lap 75, and Whincup covered when they arrived at Turn 11 on Lap 76.

However, van Gisbergen went for something of a block pass two turns later, making light contact before driving up Boundary Street in the race lead.

He was then forced to mid-track his car as Whincup seemingly shaped to strike back at the next braking zone, before pulling a second clear in barely more than a lap.

Van Gisbergen was in fact more than four seconds up until he came up on traffic on the final lap, although the victory was hardly in doubt by then.

The two DJR entries had lonely runs to the chequered flag, but Brown spent several laps trying to find a way past Waters.

He eventually did so on Lap 85, with a textbook move at Turn 13, and put almost four seconds on the Tickford Racing driver in the three laps which remained.

Percat finished three laps down in 21st, while Fabian Coulthard (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore) was the only non-finisher after being caught up in some opening-lap carnage.

The Supercars Championship continues next weekend (July 17-18) with another three races at Reid Park Street Circuit to make up the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.

Results: Race 16, NTI Townsville 500 Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:51:37.2286
2 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:51:40.1545
3 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:00.5631
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:17.2629
5 9 Erebus Pedders Racing William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:23.8173
6 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:27.6369
7 14 Pizza Hut Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:30.6432
8 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:30.9874
9 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 88 1:52:39.3834
10 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:45.8080
11 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:50.8612
12 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 88 1:52:52.1933
13 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:37.3561
14 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:56.7495
15 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:59.6433
16 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:51:59.8260
17 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:01.6619
18 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:10.8075
19 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 87 1:52:14.0643
20 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 85 1:52:21.5692
21 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 84 1:51:49.7697
22 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 74 1:51:54.3714
NC 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 2 2:44.0877
DSQ 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB    

Drivers’ championship Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1661
2 Jamie Whincup 1416
3 Will Davison 1291
4 Chaz Mostert 1278
5 Cameron Waters 1256
6 Anton De Pasquale 1020
7 Mark Winterbottom 996
8 Nick Percat 992
9 James Courtney 912
10 William Brown 903
11 Brodie Kostecki 863
12 Andre Heimgartner 860
13 Bryce Fullwood 801
14 David Reynolds 794
15 Jack Le Brocq 772
16 Scott Pye 768
17 Tim Slade 754
18 Todd Hazelwood 716
19 Zane Goddard 616
20 Jake Kostecki 596
21 Macauley Jones 498
22 Jack Smith 490
23 Fabian Coulthard 458
24 Garry Jacobson 446
25 Thomas Randle 260
26 Kurt Kostecki 222

Teams’ championship Updated

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97   Triple Eight Race Engineering 3077
2 11 17 (100) Dick Johnson Racing 2311
3 6 44   Tickford Racing 2168
4 2 25   Walkinshaw Andretti United 2079
5 9 99   Erebus Motorsport 1766
6 18 20   Team 18 1739
7 7 26   Kelly Grove Racing 1624
8 8 14   Brad Jones Racing 1622
9 34 35   Matt Stone Racing 1212
10 4 96   Brad Jones Racing 988
11 19 22   Team Sydney 904
12 5     Tickford Racing 772
13 3     Blanchard Racing Team 754
14 55     Tickford Racing 260
15 27     Walkinshaw Andretti United 222

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