Van Gisbergen extends points lead with Race 8 win

Shane van Gisbergen claimed victory in Race 8. Picture: Ross Gibb

Shane van Gisbergen has put on another clinic at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400, storming to victory in Race 8.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver ran long on the soft compound tyre, dispatching Shell V-Power Racing Team pilot Will Davison for the lead just beyond the race’s halfway mark.

From there, the Repco Supercars Championship points leader ran unchallenged, cruising across the line to win by 5.6474s from Davison and David Reynolds.

Initially, De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Racing Team) got the jump over Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Racing Team) to lead into Turn 1.

Despite being on the dirty side of the road, Reynolds (#26 Penrite Racing) got the better getaway from the second row to usurp van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Racing).

Behind them, the concertina effect down at the tightening Turn 1 meant Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing), Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist Racing), and Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile) found themselves off the road and in the weeds.

Scott Pye (#20 Hino) was another victim of the Turn 1 melee, copping a hit from Macauley Jones (#96 after Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Racing) came across the nose of the Albury driver.

Pye would pit at the end of Lap 1 with a right front puncture.

At the front, De Pasquale stretched his legs over Davison, ending Lap 1 with a one-second advantage. Reynolds was third, van Gisbergen fourth, and Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Racing) fifth.

Completing the top 10 were Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing), James Courtney (#500 Flex Power Tools), Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Racing), Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing), and Percat.

After a commanding start, drama struck on Lap 4 for De Pasquale when he locked up the right-front wheel at Turn 1, speared off the road, and skated across the grass.

That saw the #11 Ford Mustang lose out to Davison and Reynolds, duly dropping to third.

Davison pitted from the lead on Lap 4, handing Reynolds the lead.

One lap later, van Gisbergen showed De Pasquale his nose at the second-to-last corner, the latter diving straight into the pits.

Shortly thereafter, van Gisbergen made light work of Reynolds on Lap 6 at Turn 11. With that, the Penrite Mustang pitted.

On the rejoin, Reynolds dropped into net second. However, with warmer tyres aboard, De Pasquale made a move at Turn 4.

Van Gisbergen pitted on Lap 7 and rejoined just ahead of De Pasquale. The Red Bull racer defended De Pasquale’s advances at Turn 3, forcing his main championship combatant to go around the outside.

With the #11 awkwardly placed, the #26 of Reynolds swept around the outside on the run to Turn 4 to take what was effectively third on corrected order.

With the front-runners having gone through the pit lane for their compulsory pit stop, Davison held the projected lead to the tune of four seconds.

However, shod with tyres three laps fresher than Davison, van Gisbergen began bringing the margin down rapidly.

With nine laps to go, van Gisbergen got a run on Davison and gave him a nudge for good measure, surging by and into the lead out of Turn 5.

From there, van Gisbergen stretched his legs and left Davison to fend off Reynolds.

Reynolds looked likely to threaten Davison for second, but dropped back every time he got close to a pass with what appeared to be aero understeer.

Ultimately, van Gisbergen was too good, closing out the 20-lap affair with a comfortable buffer.

Reynolds completed the podium, marking his third straight success.

De Pasquale was fourth while Mostert held off Feeney for fifth. The top 10 was completed by Slade, Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing), Courtney, and Garry Jacobson (#76 Subway Racing).

Race 9, the final appearance for the Repco Supercars Championship at the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix, starts at 12:00 local time/AEST tomorrow.

Results: Race 8, Beaurepaires Melbourne 400

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Diff
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT +5.6474
3 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT +6.5366
4 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT +10.6672
5 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore +13.2716
6 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore +13.5495
7 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT +15.8526
8 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT +21.2471
9 500 Flex Power Tools James Courtney Ford Mustang GT +23.1066
10 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore +24.3597
11 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT +25.3226
12 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore +27.1582
13 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT +27.1840
14 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore +29.3405
15 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore +31.0445
16 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore +31.5739
17 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore +33.3913
18 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore +34.8211
19 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore +37.3439
20 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT +37.7046
21 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore +38.4350
22 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore +43.9754
23 96 Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore +45.6031
24 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore +1:33.9982
25 20 Hino Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore +1 lap

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 781
2 Anton De Pasquale 595
3 Chaz Mostert 566
4 Will Davison 553
5 David Reynolds 513
6 Broc Feeney 509
7 Brodie Kostecki 498
8 Cameron Waters 473
9 Tim Slade 459
10 Todd Hazelwood 414
11 Mark Winterbottom 401
12 James Courtney 400
13 Will Brown 377
14 Nick Percat 370
15 Lee Holdsworth 369
16 Scott Pye 343
17 Bryce Fullwood 316
18 Andre Heimgartner 312
19 Macauley Jones 288
20 Jack Smith 286
21 Thomas Randle 262
22 Chris Pither 261
23 Garry Jacobson 251
24 Jake Kostecki 228
25 Jack Le Brocq 208

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 1290
2 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 1148
3 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 906
4 10 26 Grove Racing 882
5 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 875
6 5 6 Tickford Racing 873
7 18 20 Team 18 744
8 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 628
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 622
10 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 574
11 22 76 PremiAir Racing 512
12 55 56 Tickford Racing 490
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 459

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