Van Gisbergen claims emotional victory on home soil in Auckland

Shane van Gisbergen
Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen has scored a Kiwi win in the ITM Auckland SuperSprint on home soil while teammate Jamie Whincup was denied second place following a post-race penalty.

Auckland-raised Van Gisbergen scored his fourth Pukekohe victory on top of his clean sweep of three races in 2016 to give himself a chance of reclaiming the Jason Richards Trophy in the honor of the Kiwi great who died from cancer in 2011.

Whincup finished the race in second but a 15 second post-race penalty for colliding with Nick Percat and pushing the Brad Jones Racing birthday boy off the track on the opening lap meant the 2nd place finish was wiped, and Whincup dropped back to officially finish in sixth position.

That mean the official top three was van Gisbergen, Cam Waters and David Reynolds.

“Man, this place and all the support here makes you lift," Van Gisbergen said. “It is such as awesome feeling to have so many Kiwi fans. I am glad to get one, hopefully we can get another tomorrow."

The race was shaped by a safety car which forced two strategies on the field – those who stopped before and those who stopped after. Van Gisbergen was on the latter, while Whincup on the former.

van Gisbergen grabs lead
van Gisbergen grabs lead

Championship leader Scott McLaughlin officially finishes fourth, behind David Reynolds in what was a largely uneventful race for the pair who started side by side.

When Mark Winterbottom’s IRWIN Commodore stopped suddenly on track having somehow run out of fuel after only 12 laps, it mixed the field up between those who had already done a pit stop and the others who got the chance under the safety car.

Fabian Coulthard was an early stopper with less fuel on board and assumed the lead from Anton de Pasquale and Whincup, all cars who needed to do a longer second stop.

Whincup was able to take advantage of some oil in the track which tripped up Coulthard to allow the seven-time Champion the lead, although both drivers were amongst a handful who stopped early.

As the race settled and stops were done Whincup retained the lead from Van Gisbergen only after Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert, who are team-mates, clashed with each other, taking Mostert out of the running with front end damage.

Van Gisbergen got passed his team-mate soon after, taking the lead he maintained to the flag.
All five Kiwis finished in the top 10, with Andre Heimgartner eighth and Richie Stanaway a season-best 10th.

The result has shaken up the Championship leaderboard, with McLaughlin now leading by 586-points from van Gisbergen who leapfrogged Mostert and Coulthard into second.

Mostert's collision with teammate Waters has seen him slip back to fourth while Whincup remains in fifth ahead of Reynolds.

Tomorrow there will be a final ARMOR ALL qualifying session followed by the fan-favorite Top Ten Shootout and the final race of the weekend, another 200km SuperSprint which will begin at 4:10pm local time.

Results

POS # DRIVER TEAM BEHIND PTS
1 97 Van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Team +0.000s 150
2 88 Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Team +2.363 138
3 6 C. Waters Monster Energy Racing Team +12.649 129
4 9 Reynolds Penrite Racing +15.428 120
5 17 McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Team +16.089 111
6 5 Holdsworth The Bottle-O Racing Team +16.891 102
7 12 Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Team +21.383 96
8 7 Heimgartner Plus Fitness Racing +21.996 90
9 23 Davison Milwaukee Racing +24.822 84
10 33 R. Stanaway Boost Mobile Racing +25.927 78
11 14 Slade Machinery House Racing +26.661 72
12 8 Percat NZ Safety Blackwoods Racing +31.849 69
13 2 S. Pye Mobil 1 Racing +32.280 66
14 35 T. Hazelwood Bigmate Racing +37.850 63
15 99 A. de Pasquale Penrite Racing +38.320 60
16 78 S. De Silvestro Team Harvey Norman +38.586 57
17 22 Courtney Mobil 1 Racing +39.985 54
18 3 G. Jacobson RABBLE.club Racing +42.178 51
19 15 R. Kelly Castrol Racing +47.031 48
20 21 M. Jones Team CoolDrive +57.902 45
21 19 J. Le Brocq Truck Assist TEKNO Racing +1 Lap 42
22 18 Winterbottom Irwin Racing +5 Laps 39
23 34 J. Golding Boost Mobile Racing +10 Laps 36
24 55 Mostert Supercheap Auto Racing +14 Laps 33

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