Whincup wins and Van Gisbergen new Championship leader

Race winner Whincup
Race winner Whincup

Seven-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup has set the scene for a Championship fightback in a 1-2 finish with new Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen in the OTR SuperSprint at Tailem Bend in South Australia.

Whincup blasted away the field with an 11 second win from Van Gisbergen and a man of the match effort by David Reynolds to work through the field from 12th to third in an incident free race.

It sets the scene for an intriguing PIRTEK Enduro Cup season starting with the RABBLE.club Sandown 500 before moving onto the epic Mount Panorama and the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.

The Red Bull Holden Racing team duo were virtually untouchable today on the long Tailem Bend Circuit. There were no safety cars, leaving the two alone out in front.

“We need to make sure we had two fast cars," Whincup said. “I know it’s cliché but full marks to the team. They gave us two rockets and us two Wally’s kept it on the track, most of the time."

Van Gisbergen now takes the lead of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship by 19 points over Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin, with Whincup in third.

“There is such a long way to go," Van Gisbergen said. “We need to keep our heads down but credit to the team. We have got to keep focused but we are in a good spot."

Bathurst Champion Reynolds would now be in a good place to defend his title. Despite a slow start to the weekend on a new track the finish was impressive.

“Mega effort by the Penrite Erebus team, everyone should be really happy," he said.

“We got the setup a little late. If we had that at the start of the weekend it may have been a different story. It’s a great result even though we didn’t qualify the best.

“It’s a mega tick in the box for us."

Gisbergen (L) takes the points lead
Gisbergen (L) takes the points lead

Whincup got the jump on his Red Bull Holden teammate from the start. As teams cycled through pit stops the field was mixed up until Whincup and van Gisbergen emerged back in the front once both mandatory changes were done.

Freightliner Racing’s Tim Slade looked set for his first podium of the season, running comfortably between van Gisbergen and Reynolds entering the final 10 laps. But with eight to go, though, he locked up entering and ran wide, losing third to Reynolds.

Slade had to settle for fourth, ahead of Brad Jones Racing team-mate Nick Percat, who was another big mover from 15th on the grid in a cracking weekend for the Albury based outfit.

Scott Pye finished sixth, with Milwaukee Racing's Will Davison the best of the Fords in seventh place, Craig Lowndes eighth and Michael Caruso ninth.

In a fourth BJR Commodore, wildcard runner Macauley Jones was 19th, his best single-driver result in Supercars.

The next stop for Supercars is the opening event of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, the RABBLE.club Sandown 500, to be held at the historic Sandown Raceway from 14-16 September.

With 300 points up for grabs, Sandown is shaping as one of the most important in the Championship race with just eight races remaining in 2018.

Results

POS # DRIVER TEAM TIME POINTS
1 1 Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Australia 1:17:54.386 186
2 97 Van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Australia +11.289 138
3 9 Reynolds Erebus Motorsport +13.509 129
4 14 Slade Brad Jones Racing +20.544 111
5 8 Percat Brad Jones Racing +22.064 117
6 2 S. Pye Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing +24.688 102
7 230 Davison Milwaukee Racing +26.372 90
8 888 Lowndes Team Vortex +30.594 99
9 23 Caruso Nissan Nismo +32.414 84
10 17 McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Team +34.966 69
11 99 A. de Pasquale Erebus Motorsport +43.585 69
12 55 Mostert Supercheap Auto Racing +44.419 57
13 25 Courtney Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing +47.099 66
14 12 Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Team +46.942 63
15 6 C. Waters Monster Energy Racing +47.784 54
16 5 Winterbottom The Bottle-O Racing Team +49.080 48
17 15 R. Kelly Nissan Motorsport +53.534 54
18 19 J. Le Brocq TEKNO Woodstock Racing +1:09.267 60
19 4 M. Jones Drillpro Racing +1:13.297 48
20 33 Tander Wilson Security Racing GRM +1:13.886 45
21 21 Blanchard CoolDrive Racing +1:22.059 42
22 56 R. Stanaway Tickford Racing +1:36.088 39
23 78 S. De Silvestro Nissan Nismo +1:45.007 30
24 34 J. Golding Wilson Security Racing GRM +1:45.587 18
25 35 T. Hazelwood Bigmate Racing +1 Lap 24
NC 18 Holdsworth Bright Preston Hire Racing +21 Laps 0
NC 7 Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport +37 Laps 18
NC 42 K. Kostecki Arcoplate Racing +40 Laps -3


DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1.

Shane Van Gisbergen

2778

2.

Scott McLaughlin

2759

-19

3.

Jamie Whincup

2416

-362

4.

Craig Lowndes

2229

-549

5.

David Reynolds

2213

-565

6.

Fabian Coulthard

1922

-856

7.

Rick Kelly

1918

-860

8.

Chaz Mostert

1892

-886

9.

Tim Slade

1742

-1036

10.

Scott Pye

1702

-1076

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1.

Triple Eight Race Engineering (Whincup/SVG)

5194

2.

Shell V-Power Racing Team

4681

-513

3.

Brad Jones Racing

3435

-1759

4.

Tickford Racing (Mostert/Winterbottom)

3424

-1770

5.

Erebus Motorsport

3328

-1866

6.

Walkinshaw Andretti United

3184

-2010

7.

Nissan Motorsport (Kelly/Heimgartner)

3072

-2122

8.

NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro)

2396

-2798

9.

Garry Rogers Motorsport

2381

-2813

10.

Triple Eight Race Engineering (Lowndes)

2229

-2965

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