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Adelaide 500: Van Gisbergen wins as title rivals struggle

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Adelaide 500: Van Gisbergen wins as title rivals struggle
By:
Mar 4, 2018, 6:57 AM

Shane van Gisbergen capped off a perfect weekend in Adelaide with a second win on Sunday, while title favourites Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin both dropped points.

Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Todd Hazelwood, Matt Stone Racing
Richie Stanaway, Tickford Racing Ford
Richie Stanaway, Tickford Racing Ford
Rick Kelly, Nissan Motorsport

Van Gisbergen is now unbeaten in the South Australian capital across four races, backing up his doublewin in 2017 with another clean sweep this time around.

And with Whincup and McLaughlin both hitting trouble, van Gisbergen sits 42 points clear at the top of the standings after the opening round of the new season.

It was Whincup that made light work of the first stint and a bit of the 250-kay race, building a 10-second lead over the first 25 laps as McLaughlin and van Gisbergen scrapped over second place.

Whincup's day looked like it was going to get even easier when a front-right puncture took McLaughlin out of the lead battle pack on Lap 26, and unscheduled stop dropping the Penske Ford outside the Top 20 and seemingly giving the Red Bulls a free kick at running away with the race.

Just five laps later, however, Whincup hit troubles of his own. Rising gearbox temperatures finally caught up with his brand new ZB Commodore, the reigning champion limping back to the pits for his first DNF since 2013.

That left Saturday race winner van Gisbergen out front, but the race was hardly done. David Reynolds looked to turn an impressive second stint into a play for the lead around the second stops, running three laps later than van Gisbergen and managing to sneak back out ahead on Lap 45.

But Reynolds' time at the front didn't last long, van Gisbergen making use of his warmer tyres to charge back on into the lead on that very same lap.

After dropping back to second Reynolds was able to hold on to van Gisbergen, while Garth Tander – who like Reynolds drifted into contention across the second stint – shadowed the top two as well.

But while they could hang on, neither made a genuine play for the lead. In the end van Gisbergen came home 0.8s clear of Reynolds, Tander dropping back to more than 3.5s off the winner.

"I love Adelaide, that was just awesome," said van Gisbergen.

"We went the wrong way with our set-up and had to battle it out there. Davey was really quick and I expected him to battle me back.

"I can’t thank the team enough, it’s an awesome debut for the new Commodore."

Chaz Mostert and Cam Waters finished fourth and fifth, but it wasn't all good news for the Tickford squad.

Mark Winterbottom had been in the mix for a good result of his own, sitting fourth as the second stops shook out. However on Lap 57 he was stung with a drive-through penalty for excessive kerb use, a decision that infuriated Tickford boss Tim Edwards.

“Well they make you cringe, particularly because he’s been conservatively driving around it and watching the cars in front drive over it," he said. "So it’s bullshit, it’s absolute bullshit.

"If anyone actually bothered to look at the television screen, they’d actually see that."

James Courtney recovered from a poor qualifying effort to come home sixth, ahead of Craig Lowndes, Scott Pye, and Michael Caruso.

McLaughlin rounded out the Top 10 thanks to a sharp recovery from his mid-race puncture.

"It was going to be an awesome battle I think, we were really sizing them up there and unfortunately we popped a tyre," said McLaughlin. "I think it was a bolt or something on the track that we unfortunately hit. It’s just one of those things.

"But we caught the leaders by 15-odd seconds, so we’re stoked.

"One day I’m going to get this Adelaide 500 right and get two days in a row, because at the moment I’m half job Harry."

Race 2 Results:

Cla#DriverCarGap
1 97 new_zealand Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB  
2 9 australia David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 0.8247
3 33 australia Garth Tander  Holden Commodore ZB 3.6322
4 55 australia Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG X 5.9563
5 6 australia Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG X 11.2706
6 25 australia James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 13.9504
7 888 australia Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore ZB 14.6830
8 2 australia Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 16.8859
9 23 australia Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 17.2717
10 17 new_zealand Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG X 25.0862
11 14 australia Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 25.7981
12 230 australia Will Davison  Ford Falcon FG X 30.2347
13 5 australia Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG X 30.7273
14 15 australia Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 34.9234
15 8 australia Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 35.5774
16 12 new_zealand Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG X 42.1848
17 99 australia Anton de Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 44.0455
18 78 switzerland Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 51.8463
19 34 australia James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.2025
20 56 new_zealand Richie Stanaway  Ford Falcon FG X 1'06.3546
21 35 australia Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG X 1 lap
22 19 australia Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
23 21 australia Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore ZB 7 laps
24 18 australia Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore ZB 8 laps
25 7 new_zealand Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima 17 laps
26 1 australia Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 48 laps
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Adelaide
Location Adelaide Street Circuit
Drivers Shane van Gisbergen
Author Andrew van Leeuwen