Van Gisbergen passes Mostert to win Newcastle Race 2

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen has won Race 2 at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 after a forceful late-race pass of Chaz Mostert.

The Walkinshaw Andretti United driver led for much of the contest but came under attack from van Gisbergen in the closing stages, with the decisive moment coming on Lap 85 of what turned out to be an 89-lap second race of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

Van Gisbergen and Mostert rubbed nose-to-tail as they rounded Turn 9, with the former driving into the lead of the motor race and eventually going on to win by 4.4992s in the #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro.

Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters was another who put in a big challenge for the lead until an unforced error on Lap 48 as he harassed Mostert caused steering damage to the #6 Monster Energy Mustang, which would claim 12th in what was a time-certain finish.

Instead, Mostert finished second in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang and pole-sitter David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) a distant third, ahead of PremiAir Racing’s James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) and Triple Eight’s Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro).

Rounding out the top 10 were Brodie Kostecki (#99 Coca-Cola Camaro), Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro), Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro), Tim Slade (#400 Nulon Camaro), and Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro).

Dick Johnson Racing’s frustrating weekend at the Newcastle East Street Circuit continued, with Anton De Pasquale (#11 Mustang) home in 16th position and Will Davison (#17 Mustang) in 19th.

Mostert now leads the championship, but Triple Eight is appealing the disqualification of van Gisbergen and Feeney from Race 1, in which they took the chequered flag first and second respectively.

At the start of Race 2, Mostert beat Reynolds to the first corner but there was a red flag called on Lap 2 after contact between Macauley Jones (#96 Pizza Hut Camaro) and Declan Fraser (#56 Tradie Mustang) off the grid caused the latter to spear hard left and damage the pit wall.

Following a delay of around 20 minutes, what remained of the field, Jones included, set off again with Mostert leading Reynolds, Waters, Golding, van Gisbergen, Slade, Le Brocq, Heimgartner, Feeney, and Todd Hazelwood (#3 CoolDrive Mustang).

Mostert was a full second clear after two racing laps, and six in total, then doubled that figure in the next three laps.

Feeney was still tailing Heimgartner when he pitted from ninth position on Lap 14, as did Davison from 15th position in a #17 Shell V-Power Mustang sporting battle scars at both ends.

Mostert got almost three seconds up the road from Reynolds but the gap had halved from that peak by the time the WAU driver took his first stop at the end of Lap 23.

Waters pitted on Lap 29 and rejoined between Mostert and Feeney, before Golding had to catch the #31 Camaro through Turn 6 and van Gisbergen pounced with a pass on the PremiAir Racing driver at Turn 8.

It meant van Gisbergen assumed the lead when Reynolds pitted on Lap 30 and rejoined fourth of those who had completed a stop, although having taken on about half of the mandated 100-litre fill.

Car #97 was left out all the way until Lap 38, at which point it came into the lane for about 40 litres of fuel and resumed in fifth position, as Reynolds stalked Feeney for third.

It meant that, with the first pit cycle done, Mostert led by over four seconds from Waters, then Reynolds at about 10 seconds more behind, a very short-filled Feeney, van Gisbergen, a short-filled Kostecki, Golding, Heimgartner, Le Brocq, and Slade, while De Pasquale sat 16th and Davison 21st.

Up the front, Waters wiped out Mostert’s lead and was all over the #25 WAU entry by the end of Lap 47.

The Tickford driver brought himself undone when he hit the inside wall as he rounded Turn 9 into Parnell Place on Lap 48, bending the steering arm on the #6 Mustang and ultimately having to pit for running repairs.

On Lap 51, van Gisbergen went underneath Reynolds at Turn 12 and was into second place, allowing him to start hacking into the 12-second deficit to Mostert.

The gap had dropped to 6.1s when Mostert pitted on Lap 58 having just caught Feeney, who took his second stop on Lap 52, on the road.

The WAU crew had an issue changing the right-front wheel on the Mobil 1 Optus machine but it looked to have been just covered by fuel, while van Gisbergen had his own drama as he agitated for blue flags for the Le Brocq Camaro just ahead of him in-track.

Hazelwood was in the effective top 10 when contact with Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) put him in the tyre wall at Parnell Place but the Blanchard Racing Team driver got out of the barriers and the race continued under green flags.

As van Gisbergen continued to ask in vain for blue flags for Car #34, Mostert was making hay with his fresh set of tyres in the effective battle for the lead with Car #97.

Reynolds pitted on Lap 68 and rejoined fourth, between Golding and Feeney, after losing time when the Grove Racing crew had to fetch an alternate left-front wheel.

Van Gisbergen took his final stop on Lap 70, with green tyres going onto the working side of Car #97, and he got back up to speed at almost nine seconds behind Mostert.

Once Reynolds, with the benefit of 11-lap newer tyres, outbraked Golding on Lap 73 at the top of Watt Street, he was back into the podium positions, and Feeney ran fifth from, Kostecki, Heimgartner, Le Brocq, Slade, and Winterbottom, with Waters pressing on in 11th, De Pasquale 17th, and Davison 21st.

Van Gisbergen reset the fastest lap with a 1:12.5355s on Lap 74 and was 6.6s behind Mostert.

As the leaders threaded their way through traffic, van Gisbergen continued to haul in the #25 Mustang, and they were nose-to-tail by the end of Lap 84.

The change for the lead came on the following lap, in controversial circumstances.

Van Gisbergen looked to the right of Mostert as they braked for the left-hander onto Parnell Place (Turn 9), at which point contact ensued through the corner.

Car #25 slid wide and Car #97 emerged in the lead, before Mostert gave something of a return of serve when he drove into van Gisbergen’s left-rear corner down at the Turn 11 Hairpin.

In the context of the battle for the lead, however, it was to no avail as van Gisbergen drove away for victory and, as it stands, his first 150 points of the season.

Event 2 is the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint, on March 30-April 2 at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

Results: Race 2, Thrifty Newcastle 500

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:11:50.4825
2 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 89 2:11:54.9817
3 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 89 2:12:15.6227
4 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:17.5727
5 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:18.1420
6 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:19.0914
7 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:23.8070
8 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:37.4445
9 400 Nulon Racing Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:44.9232
10 18 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:49.4595
11 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 89 2:12:54.6433
12 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 89 2:13:06.0457
13 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 88 2:11:51.9765
14 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 88 2:11:56.8106
15 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 88 2:12:02.1096
16 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 88 2:12:03.1865
17 20 Hino Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 88 2:12:03.9716
18 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 88 2:12:09.1956
19 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 88 2:12:10.6484
20 4 SCT Motorsport Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 88 2:12:14.8895
21 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 88 2:12:36.0379
22 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 88 2:12:58.4934
23 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 87 2:12:16.5328
NC 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT    

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Chaz Mostert 276
2 Brodie Kostecki 231
3 Cam Waters 219
4 David Reynolds 207
5 Andre Heimgartner 207
6 Will Brown 186
7 Mark Winterbottom 180
8 Jack Le Brocq 174
9 James Golding 171
10 Scott Pye 150
11 Shane van Gisbergen 150
12 Matthew Payne 132
13 Bryce Fullwood 132
14 Todd Hazelwood 123
15 Tim Slade 123
16 Will Davison 120
17 Anton De Pasquale 114
18 Broc Feeney 111
19 Thomas Randle 105
20 James Courtney 90
21 Macauley Jones 87
22 Cameron Hill 87
23 Jack Smith 87
24 Declan Fraser 66
25 Nick Percat 36

Teams’ championship

Pos Num(s) Team Pts
1 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 417
2 19 26 Grove Racing 339
3 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 339
4 18 20 Team 18 330
5 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 312
6 5 6 Tickford Racing 309
7 31 400 PremiAir Racing 294
8 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 261
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 261
10 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 234
11 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 174
12 55 56 Tickford Racing 171
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 123

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