Van Gisbergen runs down De Pasquale in Race 1 strategy battle

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen taken a big win in Race 1 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park after overcoming pole-sitter Anton De Pasquale in a battle of strategy.

Red Bull Ampol Racing opted for a three-stop strategy for van Gisbergen and he emerged six seconds behind two-stopper De Pasquale, who was then in second place, when he pitted for a final time with 14 laps to go.

However, the 2021 champion made light work of both the #11 Shell V-Power Racing Team entry and Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown to kick off his 2022 campaign with a victory under lights at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

De Pasquale ultimately finished 19.5575s back in second spot after 77 laps of racing, while it was Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert who greeted the chequered flag in third position in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore.

Fourth went to Will Davison in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang, from Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore), with Brown fading to seventh.

At the start, De Pasquale (#11 Mustang) led van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) into the first corner, from Brown (#9 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), and Davison.

Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) was fifth at the end of the standing lap from fourth on the grid, but first of the four who started on the super soft.

He went down the inside of Davison on Lap 3 at Bond Bend (Turn 2), overtook Brown four corners later, and was second when he also passed van Gisbergen at Turn 6 on Lap 4.

Car #11 was around 1.7s up the road at that point but, naturally, Heimgartner began to catch De Pasquale, and the pole-sitter chose not to fight when the Brad Jones Racing driver went for the pass on Lap 8 at Turn 6.

Notably, De Pasquale was 2.3s up on van Gisbergen at that point, although #97 pared the gap back by a handful of tenths over the next half a dozen laps.

David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), second of those on super softs, passed Brown for fourth on Lap 12, as Mostert began to pressure fellow soft compound runner Davison for sixth.

Van Gisbergen was just over 1.1s behind De Pasquale when he stopped on Lap 21 for another set of softs and a relatively short fill of fuel, before Reynolds got off his super softs and Davison got onto super softs on Lap 22.

De Pasquale followed Heimgartner into the lane on Lap 24, 4.2s apart having been separated by almost six seconds only a few laps earlier, and like team-mate Davison, the former switched from softs to super softs.

The first cycle was completed when Mostert pitted on Lap 26, leaving van Gisbergen in a lead of almost six seconds from team-mate Feeney (softs), then Brown (super softs), Reynolds, three-stopper Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist ZB Commodore, softs), Heimgartner, and De Pasquale at 11 seconds from first position.

Davison was 10th and Mostert 12th, the latter having stayed on softs, before Le Brocq stopped again on just Lap 27.

Feeney had pitted earlier than most and was soon on the slide, dropping to sixth when De Pasquale rounded him up on Lap 29 at the Turn 8 hairpin.

De Pasquale grabbed another spot when he went down the inside of Heimgartner for fourth on Lap 30 at Bond Bend, overtook Reynolds for third on Lap 31, and caught Brown on Lap 34.

He and Brown were circulating a bit more than nine seconds behind van Gisbergen when Feeney pitted from eighth on Lap 35, taking a set of super softs and signalling he too was on a three-stop strategy.

Triple Eight Race Engineering was monitoring a possible engine issue for van Gisbergen but he had crept out to an 11-second margin over Brown and De Pasquale, amid a brief rain shower on Lap 40.

De Pasquale dived past Brown on at Turn 6 on Lap 42, moments before Car #97 stopped from a 13-second lead for its set of super soft tyres.

Reynolds, meanwhile, had not long dropped out of the contest due to a transaxle problem.

Brown pitted on Lap 44 to get back onto softs, and Mostert took on his set of super softs when he filed into the lane on Lap 48.

Heimgartner and Davison pitted together on Lap 49 and emerged nose-to-tail, both on softs, before the latter fired down the inside of Car #8 when they next braked at Bond Bend in a genuine position change.

De Pasquale stopped for a second time on Lap 52 and got back onto softs, before the second pit cycle wrapped up on Lap 53.

Then, van Gisbergen was in front by more than 20 seconds from Kostecki (softs, three-stopper), Feeney (still on super softs), Brown (softs), James Courtney (#5 Opposite Lock Mustang, super softs, three-stopper), and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang, softs, three-stopper) in sixth.

De Pasquale was seventh at more than 40 seconds from the lead, with Davison eighth having shaken off Heimgartner and Mostert 10th.

De Pasquale passed Waters on Lap 55 before the latter followed Brodie Kostecki into the pits on Lap 57.

Brown picked off Feeney on Lap 59 and Mostert overtook Heimgartner on Lap 59, before Courtney took his final stop on Lap 60, and Feeney on Lap 61.

Van Gisbergen was 40.0s up on Brown and 44.0s up on third placed De Pasquale when he pitted for a third time on Lap 63, getting back onto the soft compound of tyre.

He resumed in third position, six seconds behind De Pasquale once he got up to speed, for the run home.

Fourth was Davison, from Mostert (first on super softs), Heimgartner, Brodie Kostecki (softs), Percat (super softs), Slade (softs), and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s ZB Commodore, softs).

De Pasquale caught Brown on Lap 66 and the Erebus Motorsport driver did not offer any resistance when Car #11 came down his inside a lap later at Turn 05.

Problematically for De Pasquale, van Gisbergen was so quick that Brown also let him go just two corners later.

Before Lap 67 was done, van Gisbergen had charged past De Pasquale as they ran up Brabham Straight, then put two seconds on the erstwhile leader on Lap 68.

Mostert overtook Davison on Lap 69 at Turn 4, and went from six seconds behind Brown at that point to passing Car #9 on Lap 72.

Davison overtook Brown two laps later, and the Erebus driver faded to seventh when he dropped position to team-mate Brodie Kostecki and also Percat on the final lap.

Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) inherited eighth when Heimgartner had to pit for fuel with a lap to go, with Feeney and Courtney rounding out the top 10.

Waters ended up 11th, from Fullwood, Le Brocq, Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist ZB Commodore), and Heimgartner.

Reynolds got back out to be classified 24th at 13 laps down, with Scott Pye (#20 Seiko 5 ZB Commodore) the only DNF due to an early power steering drama.

Van Gisbergen leads the championship by 12 points after Race 1 of the season.

Qualifying for Race 2 will be held tomorrow from 10:50 local time/AEDT, with a Top 10 Shootout to follow in the early afternoon.

Results: Race 1, Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:01.4868
2 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 77 2:03:21.0443
3 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:32.5393
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 77 2:03:38.9871
5 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:40.2928
6 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:40.8796
7 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:42.5996
8 3 CoolDrive Auto Parts Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 77 2:03:52.2769
9 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:03:53.9638
10 5 Opposite Lock Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 77 2:03:56.0099
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 77 2:04:04.6353
12 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:04:16.5575
13 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:04:23.1168
14 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:04:28.5317
15 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 77 2:04:38.2980
16 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 76 2:03:11.9092
17 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 76 2:03:14.2218
18 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 76 2:03:14.2396
19 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 76 2:03:26.9955
20 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 76 2:03:37.7442
21 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 76 2:03:47.0551
22 96 Automotive Superstore Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 76 2:03:59.5895
23 22 PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 76 2:04:03.4039
24 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 64 2:03:03.6587
NC 20 Team 18 Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 32 1:29:00.3463

Drivers’ championship Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 150
2 Anton De Pasquale 138
3 Chaz Mostert 129
4 Will Davison 120
5 Brodie Kostecki 111
6 Nick Percat 102
7 William Brown 96
8 Tim Slade 90
9 Broc Feeney 84
10 James Courtney 78
11 Cameron Waters 72
12 Bryce Fullwood 69
13 Jack Le Brocq 66
14 Andre Heimgartner 63
15 Todd Hazelwood 60
16 Mark Winterbottom 57
17 Jack Smith 54
18 Garry Jacobson 51
19 Jake Kostecki 48
20 Thomas Randle 45
21 Lee Holdsworth 42
22 Macauley Jones 39
23 Chris Pither 36
24 David Reynolds 33
25 Scott Pye 0

Teams’ championship Updated

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 258
2 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 234
3 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 231
4 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 207
5 5 6 Tickford Racing 150
6 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 132
7 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 126
8 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 93
9 55 56 Tickford Racing 93
10 3   Blanchard Racing Team 90
11 22 76 PremiAir Racing 87
12 10 26 Grove Racing 75
13 18 20 Team 18 57

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