Shane Van Gisbergen has made it three from three at Tailem Bend, claiming victory in this evenings Race 23 of the Supercar season. Wet conditions, which had threatened the event all weekend, finally hit the venue as the cars lined up on the grid and saw teams scrambling to change to wet tyres before the start of the race.
The downpour was treacherous which resulted in a safety car race start. Known for his form in wet conditions, Van Gisbergen was quick to pick up de Pasquale’s second position on Lap 3. From here, an epic duel took place between Waters and the Red Bull Racing car of Van Gisbergen, with several overtaking attempts thwarted by the Tickford Mustang. De Pasquale remained in close proximity as the trio pulled away from the field.
Van Gisbergen finally got his man on Lap 10 and drove clear, pulling away and out to an eight second lead by the end of the race. Waters came home in second, with Brodie Kostecki rounding out the podium.
Whilst safety-car-less, there was plenty of drama in the 24 lap sprint. Broc Feeney lost a potential podium after aquaplaning off track on Lap 7, and was followed by Will Davison and the two Truck Assist cars of Todd Hazlewood and Jack Le Broq.
David Reynolds and James Golding were two drivers shining in the wet, until Reynolds ran into the back of Golding and damaged his car. He returned to the pits to re-emerge two laps behind the leaders.
De Pasquale was also a victim of the conditions in the race mid-stages, dropping down the order after running off track. Kostecki was the benefactor of this, taking third place where he remained until the end of the race.
Davison recovered well from his outing on Lap 6, and managed to climb his way back to fourth by the end of the race. Chaz Mostert was also one of the drivers of the day, overcoming a 15 second time penalty for a racing incident to come home in eighth.
Feeney also recovered, rounding out the top five, ahead of Will Brown, de Pasquale, Mostert, Percat and Holdsworth respectively, who all finished in the top 10.
A top 10 finish was a great result for Percat, with his car only just able to make the start after a crash in todays earlier race. That same crash also prevented Andre Heimgartner and Thomas Randle from participating, both of whom had been taken to a local hospital for precautionary checks.
Chris Pither was the other Kiwi in action for the event, and worked his way forward to finish 18th.
The weekends results sees Waters move up to second in the championship, 393 points behind Van Gisbergen who claimed a maximum 315 points from The Bend.
Next race weekend is in three weeks time, with the drivers heading to the famous Sandown circuit in Victoria for the Sandown SuperSprint. The first day of track action there will be the August 19th.
Banner Photo: supercars.com