Van Gisbergen sweeps The Bend with victory in wet Race 23

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen has completed a three-from-three with victory in a wet Race 23 of the Repco Supercars Championship at The Bend.

After a hair-raising dice with Cameron Waters and, briefly, Anton De Pasquale, the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver broke free at the end of Lap 10 and cleared out to an 8.7109s win.

Waters would retain second for the balance of the 24-lap contest in Tickford Racing’s #6 Monster Energy Mustang, while Brodie Kostecki climbed to third in Erebus Motorsport’s #99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison finished fourth despite two spins.

One of those was the result of a nudge from Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore), who still managed eighth even though he had to serve a 15-second penalty at his compulsory pit stop.

As for van Gisbergen, not only did he pull off the sweep of wins at the OTR SuperSprint, but also scored a maximum 315 points given he set the fastest lap in all three of those encounters.

His margin at the top of the drivers’ standings has blown out to 393 points, with Waters taking over second spot from De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), who finished the race in seventh.

The result also means that Holden has won the manufacturers’ championship for the last time ever.

“That was awesome,” said van Gisbergen.

“It’s always good racing someone who has nothing to lose. He drives hard, but respectful as well; yeah, it was awesome.

“But, once I got in front, I struggled a bit with no train tracks to follow, and then pulled away.

“What an awesome weekend; can’t thank the team enough.”

Rain had started falling as cars sat on the grid, prompting all to switch to wet tyres.

Furthermore, with the track still oily in front of pole position after the day’s earlier startline shunt, Race 23 got underway behind the Safety Car.

It was quite wet by the time the field took the green flag for what was officially Lap 3, at which time Waters assumed control given he had qualified on pole position.

Three different drivers led during the opening racing lap after De Pasquale and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) attacked Car #6 at Turn 13.

Waters reclaimed the lead from van Gisbergen as they ran up the main straight to start Lap 4, while Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore) had got ahead of De Pasquale back at Turn 17.

Davison (#17 Mustang) and Mostert found themselves in a battle for sixth which ended with the latter nudging the former into a spin at the Turn 6 hairpin on Lap 6, and officials deemed that a driving infringement.

Feeney, however, was already off the road there by the time they had arrived, meaning van Gisbergen was back up to second place and able to harass Waters again.

Twice, the 2021 champion got past only for the Tickford steerer to immediately hit back, and Waters staved off another bid for the lead at the Turn 14/Turn 15/Turn 16 complex on Lap 10.

A corner later, however, he undid his good work with a lock-up which carried the #6 Mustang wide and van Gisbergen did not waste the opportunity.

That meant a top five of #97, #6, De Pasquale, James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang) at a few seconds further back, and Will Brown (#9 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), with Feeney a spot further behind.

Van Gisbergen cleared out to a four-second lead on Lap 13, by which time Davison had slipped from eighth to 10th after an apparently unassisted spin.

De Pasquale dropped from third to sixth with a rotation of his own at the Turn 6 hairpin on Lap 14, and it would soon be Brodie Kostecki passing Erebus team-mate Brown for third, on Lap 16.

Given the rain continued to fall and tyre temperature was thus at a premium, the front-runners ran long.

De Pasquale pitted from sixth, behind Feeney, on Lap 19, then very nearly spun on his out lap when he got loose through Turn 12 and dropped a wheel onto the edge of the race track.

By then, the top three of van Gisbergen, Waters, and Brodie Kostecki were trading fastest laps, although the former was circulating upwards of eight seconds clear.

Brown and Feeney stopped on Lap 22 and resumed a few seconds ahead of De Pasquale.

The rest waited until the very last opportunity to meet the CPS requirement, van Gisbergen leading Waters into the lane with a 9.5s margin.

He, Waters, Brodie Kostecki, and Davison retained first through fourth on the final lap, while Feeney finished sixth, from Brown and De Pasquale.

Mostert recovered somewhat from the hold penalty to get home in eighth, ahead of team-mate Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore) and Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Mustang), while Courtney faded to 12th.

The next event is the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, on August 19-21.

Results: Race 23, OTR SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 24 56:35.1526
2 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 24 56:43.8635
3 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 24 56:52.3832
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 24 57:00.6577
5 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:06.9848
6 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:07.7832
7 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 24 57:08.0149
8 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:08.4936
9 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:09.9821
10 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 24 57:13.5660
11 3 CoolDrive Auto Parts Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 24 57:21.6622
12 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 24 57:22.5608
13 20 Nulon Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:23.0415
14 31 Subway PremiAir Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:24.5326
15 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:25.0181
16 49 Joss & Dynamic Jordan Boys Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:35.0830
17 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 24 57:56.5761
18 22 PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 24 58:21.1448
19 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 23 56:45.8543
20 96 TRG Transport Solutions Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 23 57:12.8095
21 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 23 57:21.2183
22 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 20 56:37.3926
NC 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 17 58:01.9079
NC 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 5 14:53.5739
NC 78 Best Leisure Industries Zak Best Ford Mustang GT 5 15:05.4254

Fastest lap (bonus): Shane van Gisbergen, 2:06.7465s, Lap 22

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 2196
2 Cameron Waters 1803
3 Anton De Pasquale 1801
4 Will Davison 1737
5 Chaz Mostert 1540
6 Broc Feeney 1463
7 David Reynolds 1380
8 Brodie Kostecki 1279
9 Andre Heimgartner 1210
10 Tim Slade 1193
11 James Courtney 1191
12 Mark Winterbottom 1129
13 Lee Holdsworth 1084
14 William Brown 1066
15 Nick Percat 1024
16 Todd Hazelwood 996
17 Jack Le Brocq 833
18 Bryce Fullwood 830
19 Scott Pye 820
20 Macauley Jones 803
21 Chris Pither 727
22 Jake Kostecki 721
23 Thomas Randle 721
24 Jack Smith 658
25 Garry Jacobson 513
26 James Golding 176
27 Jordan Boys 168
28 Zak Best 162
29 Jayden Ojeda 150

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 3659
2 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 3538
3 5 6 Tickford Racing 2994
4 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 2534
5 10 26 Grove Racing 2464
6 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 2345
7 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 2040
8 18 20 Team 18 1949
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 1829
10 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 1461
11 55 56 Tickford Racing 1442
12 22 31 (76) PremiAir Racing 1416
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 1193
14 49 Image Racing 168
15 78 Tickford Racing 162
16 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United 150

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