Van Gisbergen jumps Whincup to win Race 18

Shane van Gisbergen leads Jamie Whincup

Shane van Gisbergen has jumped Jamie Whincup in the pits to prevail in Race 18 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.

While the results sheet will read Red Bull Ampol Racing first and second after 39 laps of racing, it was hardly a procession at the head of the field.

Van Gisbergen and Whincup battled hard on the race track, including making contact with each other, after the former stole the lead thanks to a two-tyre stop versus the latter’s three.

In the battle for the final podium position, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) staved off the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison, while Brad Jones Racing’s Todd Hazelwood (#14 ZB Commodore) took fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), and Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore).

Cameron Waters, who won Race 17 and is on pole for Race 19, slipped to 11th by the chequered flag in Tickford Racing’s #6 Monster Energy Mustang.

Van Gisbergen also set the fastest lap of the race, meaning his championship lead over Whincup is now 252 points.

“It was awesome,” said the winner.

“We chose to take two tyres to try to get in front.

“All I had to do was try to keep him behind for three or four laps until he toasted his fresh one and [I] pulled away.

“It was a pretty cool battle, pretty intense, I’m sure there were some tight moments in the garage but it was good fun.”

Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) got the jump from pole position and led van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) to the first braking zone.

Mostert held off Davison (#17 Mustang) to run third initially, while Brodie Kostecki quickly climbed to fifth in the opening stages.

Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) was slow away when the lights went out and emerged ninth from Turn 2 having qualified sixth, while Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) gained three positions on Lap 1 to sit 11th.

De Pasquale was 10th when he passed Will Brown (#9 Pedders ZB Commodore) on Lap 2 at Turn 11, and was thus first of the top 10 to pit when he took service on Lap 6.

Whincup’s advantage over van Gisbergen peaked at around 2.1s at the end of Lap 10, before the championship leader clawed back a few tenths in the next handful of laps.

Waters was still ninth when he stopped at the end of Lap 11, taking three tyres and losing time when he stalled at the drop.

Whincup’s lead was back under 1.4s at the end of Lap 15, and van Gisbergen had caught him by the time they rounded the final corners of Lap 16, suggesting an error somewhere although nothing was captured by the television cameras.

Car #88 was called into the lane on Lap 17 and Triple Eight Race Engineering changed three tyres, before van Gisbergen and Davison stopped a lap later.

However, the #97 camp opted for rears only, saving van Gisbergen seconds in the pit lane and allowing him to rejoin the race track ahead of Whincup.

Mostert also took two tyres when he was into the pits on Lap 19, resuming an unchanged effective third, as Whincup hassled the new effective race leader in Car #97.

It was the battle for the official lead by the time van Gisbergen had to block at Turn 13 on Lap 21, and again on Lap 22.

With the compulsory pit stop cycle done, Mostert was third and De Pasquale sat fourth although it seemed as though he had only taken rears.

A somewhat early-stopping Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) held sixth, ahead of Davison, Brodie Kostecki, Waters, and Hazelwood.

There was a flashpoint between the Triple Eight drivers when #97 went defensive again at Turn 13 on Lap 24, getting a nudge from Whincup before they ran side-by-side up Boundary Street and towards Turn 2.

Van Gisbergen prevented his team-mate from pulling off a criss-cross off that corner and then managed to skip a few tenths clear, and ultimately won by 4.5474s.

Davison passed Fullwood on Lap 22 and De Pasquale on Lap 23, then set about making inroads on Mostert given he had taken three fresh tyres at his stop.

He caught Car #25 inside the final three laps but Mostert held firm and managed to keep third position all the way to the chequered flag.

Hazelwood stayed in the effective top 10 through the race and was one of the notable movers in the closing stages, as was Team 18’s Pye.

Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) was a notable outside the top 10, finishing 15th after spinning in the pack on Lap 1 in an incident which will go to a post-race investigation.

Race 19 starts at 15:40 local time/AEST.

Results: Race 18, WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 39 49:46.4635
2 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 39 49:51.0109
3 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 39 49:54.5889
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 39 49:54.9710
5 14 Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:03.9089
6 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:05.7072
7 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:10.5625
8 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 39 50:14.5446
9 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 39 50:15.4700
10 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:18.9879
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 39 50:24.1866
12 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 39 50:25.1976
13 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:29.7463
14 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:29.8285
15 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:35.0203
16 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 39 50:38.4152
17 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:43.2713
18 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 39 50:45.2712
19 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 39 50:45.5072
20 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 39 50:46.9591
21 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 38 50:37.8595
22 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 33 50:18.0920
NC 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 26 35:26.1505
NC 9 Erebus Pedders Racing William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 25 32:32.8537

Fastest lap (bonus): Shane van Gisbergen 1:13.9087s, Lap 4

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1834
2 Jamie Whincup 1582
3 Chaz Mostert 1450
4 Will Davison 1419
5 Cameron Waters 1409
6 Anton De Pasquale 1172
7 Mark Winterbottom 1078
8 Nick Percat 1076
9 James Courtney 1010
10 William Brown 955
11 Brodie Kostecki 953
12 Andre Heimgartner 922
13 Scott Pye 900
14 David Reynolds 890
15 Tim Slade 880
16 Bryce Fullwood 871
17 Jack Le Brocq 848
18 Todd Hazelwood 846
19 Zane Goddard 688
20 Jake Kostecki 678
21 Jack Smith 558
22 Garry Jacobson 516
23 Macauley Jones 498
24 Fabian Coulthard 486
25 Thomas Randle 260
26 Kurt Kostecki 222

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97   Triple Eight Race Engineering 3416
2 11 17 (100) Dick Johnson Racing 2591
3 6 44   Tickford Racing 2419
4 2 25   Walkinshaw Andretti United 2321
5 18 20   Team 18 1953
6 9 99   Erebus Motorsport 1908
7 8 14   Brad Jones Racing 1836
8 7 26   Kelly Grove Racing 1782
9 34 35   Matt Stone Racing 1366
10 4 96   Brad Jones Racing 1056
11 19 22   Team Sydney 1002
12 3     Blanchard Racing Team 880
13 5     Tickford Racing 848
14 55     Tickford Racing 260
15 27     Walkinshaw Andretti United 222

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