Shane van Gisbergen has bounced back from his torrid Saturday to win the opening race of the Robson Civil Townsville SuperSprint, leading home fellow rival Scott McLaughlin and teammate Jamie Whincup.
It’s van Gisbergen’s first win of 2020, and his 37th. The victory also marks Triple Eight Race Engineering’s 200th victory in Supercars — making it the first team to accomplish the milestone.
From pole Nick Percat led from the go, with an opportunistic Shane van Gisbergen arcing wide around McLaughlin’s outside to steal away second. Van Gisbergen shadowed the Brad Jones driver until the end of lap seven, when van Gisbergen successfully struck under brakes at the final corner to take the lead. The Kiwi then set sail, building a healthy buffer.
McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup were the first leaders to stop, doing so on lap 16. Van Gisbergen peeled off on lap 18, and Percat on lap 22. The longer run meant Percat dropped down the order to seventh on corrected order. But, he had three decent tyres underneath him. Van Gisbergen retained the top spot over McLaughlin. The series leader did briefly duel with Whinup following a tardy pit stop, but was able to get clear when Todd Hazelwood emerged in between them after his two-tyre pit-stop.
By the time the order had cleaned on lap 24, Percat was already up to fourth having passed a string of drivers. Waters was fifth and Hazelwood was sixth, although the latter had a 15-second penalty for a spinning wheels in pit-lane overshadowing his performance.
Van Gisbergen’s lead swelled to over six seconds, and ultimately McLaughlin wouldn’t be able to catch him. The 2016 series champ ended up claiming the victory by eight seconds. It’s his first race win since the last race of 2019. McLaughlin took second over Whincup, the former heading the latter by a few seconds. Percat’s superior tyre condition didn’t favour him. In the end he would finish a just over a second ahead of Waters.
Scott Pye, Jack Le Brocq, Lee Holdsworth, Mark Winterbottom, and Chaz Mostert completed the top 10.
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||39 laps|
|7||Jack Le Brocq||33.856|
|16||Anton De Pasquale||49.481|