AUSTRALIAN
Sunday, Mar 4 07:44pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Shane van Gisbergen does the double while Jamie Whincup's car fails

Shane van Gisbergen has dominated proceedings at the Adelaide 500, clearing out in qualifying and both races to come out of round one 300 points up.

 

The 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship winner heads to the Australian Grand Prix ahead of second place holder David Reynolds, who finished second in the final race of the weekend. 

 

It was an all Red Bull Holden Racing Team front row. While van Gisbergen had priority it was Whincup who got the hole shot.

 

The Kiwi pushed hard to get the spot back through the staircase section and down the long straight towards turn eight.

 

Andre Heimgartner got sandwiched between James Courtney on his outside and Fabian Coulthard on the inside. He fell from 10th to 12th briefly, but got back to 11th when Courtney pitted.

 

Whincup stretched his lead out to a second by lap five following the initial push by van Gisbergen.

 

Courtney and Winterbottom were early stoppers in the stanza and van Gisbergen followed suit a few laps later on lap nine. The Kiwi came out just ahead of Winterbottom and Courtney. He fought hard to hold station ahead of his Tickford Racing rival and managed to keep the spot as Courtney and Winterbottom began their own battle.

 

Courtney and Winterbottom jostled and went side-by-side, which allowed van Gisbergen to get away.

 

Heimgartner got back past Coulthard on lap 11. Scott Pye also managed to get past Coulthard too at turn nine.

 

A mistake by van Gisbergen on lap 18 at the turn nine hairpin allowed McLaughlin onto his back. Just a second and a half covered to pair. Having not taken as much fuel, Whincup was some 10 seconds ahead.

 

By the time the pit stop sequence was complete Whincup led van Gisbergen and McLaughlin.

 

The battle between van Gisbergen and McLaughlin was shortlived when the latter was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 27. He ran over debris out of turn seven and suffered a puncture. He dropped 20 spots from third to 23rd in the space of a lap.

 

The drama continued only a few laps later on lap 31 when Whincup slowed out of turn seven. That handed van Gisbergen an easy lead while Whincup slowly trundled back to the pit lane. By the time he was back in his pit box he’d lost three laps to the leaders.

 

From the lead, van Gisbergen pitted on lap 42. Meanwhile, Heimgartner fought to hold positions ahead of Will Davison who was on warmer tyres.

 

A massive strategy play by Erebus Motorsport put Reynolds out in front ahead of van Gisbergen at the end of the final pit stop cycle. On cold tyres, Reynolds fought to keep the place. However, van Gisbergen got the better of him at the turn nine hairpin.

 

With 30 laps to go the top four were split by just a few seconds. Holden led first, second and third with the factory outfit trailed by Erebus Motorsport and Garry Rogers Motorsport.

 

The Tickford Racing trio of Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters was split on lap 57 when Winterbottom was pinged for overuse of the kerbs. He dropped from fourth effectively on the road to 12th.

 

After starting so well inside the top 10, a mechanical failure put an end to Heimgartner’s good weekend.

 

While Heimgartner was stationary, McLaughlin was surging. Despite dramas he’d managed to get back to 11th with 10 minutes to go. A lap later he took Will Davison to move inside the top 10.

 

As the laps began to wear down, van Gisbergen looked to be suffering with understeer through the tighter corners. The margin between he and Reynolds narrowed, but ultimately it was van Gisbergen who came out on top and took home another 300 points.

 

Supercars Adelaide 500 race two top 10, results:  

1. Shane van Gisbergen 78 laps
2. David Reynolds +0.824
3. Garth Tander +3.632
4. Chaz Mostert +5.956
5. Cameron Waters +11.270
6. James Courtney  +13.950
7. Craig Lowndes +14.683
8. Scott Pye +16.885
9. Michael Caruso +17.271
10. Scott McLaughlin +25.086

 

Photos: VUE Images

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