Jamie Whincup has brought an end to the winning streak of his Red Bull teammate, claiming a comfortable victory at Symmons Plains.
Overtaking erstwhile leader Cam Waters midway through the race, Whincup drove away from the field with relative ease for his 123rd race win.
Shane van Gisbergen was looking to make history by winning the first seven races of the year. However, his record was finally broken with the Kiwi crossing the line 1.003s behind his teammate.
Will Davison was the first Ford-powered car home in third, with polesitter Cam Waters slipping back to fourth in another challenging race.
“It is a good feeling to get the win,” Whincup said. “I’m not sure how many wins I can achieve this year, but I will treat everyone like it’s the last.”
In typical ‘Tassie’ style, the first few laps were frantic.
Anton de Pasquale was turned around at the hairpin by Jack Le Brocq on lap one, who moments later was also facing the wrong direction after clattering Andre Heimgartner and then the barrier.
Le Brocq earned a 15-second time penalty for his troubles.
The sister Tickford Mustang of James Courtney then had a scary off at turn one after being pitched into a half-spin by Macauley Jones. Courtney skated along the grass before bouncing off Jack Smith at turn two.
Surprisingly, the race remained green, though a handful of drivers were compelled to park up in their garages due to damage. That included Fabian Coulthard whose robust qualifying effort was quickly undone.
With the early race shenanigans settling down, it was Waters who led from Whincup and van Gisbergen.
Though the Mustang struggled to shake Whincup off his tail and the margin between the two was flirting between 0.2s and 0.5s.
To protect the lead, Tickford whistled Waters into the lane on lap 14, elevating the Red Bull duo into a provisional 1-2.
Red Bull bided their time before responding five laps later with the No.88.
Waters maintained a slim lead over Whincup, though it was temporary as the seven-time champion moved into the effective lead on lap 26 with a move at turn six.
Van Gisbergen stopped one lap later, but because he extended his opening stint, Will Davison had placed himself between Waters and the Kiwi.
Still, that didn’t stop van Gisbergen who got ahead of Davison at the hairpin before bullying his way past Waters one lap later.
With Waters pitched on the high line by van Gisbergen, Davison slipped into third to claim his second podium of the season.
Waters will start race eight this afternoon from pole position, but has now seen two early race leads this weekend unconverted into a race win. “We are still miles behind Triple Eight” was his comment after the race.
Van Gisbergen slowly closed in on his teammate over the closing laps, though Whincup had enough of a margin in hand to seal the win.
Red Bull remain unbeaten in 2021, and their victory streak extends back to September last year.
For Whincup, the win is his first since Townsville that same season.
Race Eight of the championship is scheduled to start at 6.25 pm NZT.
|2||Shane van Gisbergen||1.003|
|13||Anton de Pasquale||22.255|
|21||Jack Le Brocq|