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Sydney Supercars: Van Gisbergen wins, stop drama robs Brown

Shane van Gisbergen won under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park after Will Brown was robbed at a shot of a first victory by a faulty wheel nut.

Race winner Shane van Gibsergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Brown, who took a sensational pole, made a perfect start to the race, holding off Triple Eight pair Jamie Whincup and van Gisbergen on the opening lap before settling into the lead.

The rookie continued to lead until Lap 6 when he pitted to cover Whincup, who had stopped a lap earlier. 

However his race unravelled in the lane, a faulty wheel nut leading to a 20-odd second stop that took him out of the running for victory. 

That effectively left the two T8 drivers in control of the race, van Gisbergen leading for the next six laps as he went long on his set of hard compound Dunlops.

That meant he came out behind Whincup, who enjoyed the short-term benefit of the undercut, but had significantly better tyre condition. 

On Lap 18 van Gisbergen eased his way past his teammate to take over a lead he would hold until the finish.

His final winning margin over Whincup was 17s, the one-two coming in what is Triple Eight's 250th round in Supercars.

"I can't thank Red Bull Ampol Racing enough," said van Gisbergen. "Admittedly the fastest car was at the back, so I'm excited to see how we go against them tomorrow. But the team has done a great job. I hope it was a good show."

The battle for third place boiled down to a tense scrap between Will Davison and Nick Percat in the final third of the race.

Percat threw everything he had at a defensive Davison, particularly in the closing laps, but Davison was able to hold on by a few tenths.

Post-race, however, Davison was more worried about Lap 1 contact with van Gisbergen than sent him wide at Turn 2.

"I tried to go two wide with Shane through [Turn] 1, I don't know what his problem is with me but he tried to screw me in practice this morning, just had me off out of [Turn] 1," said Davison. 

"Bit weird. But that's not my excuse, I wasn't quick enough early on the hard tyres."

Brodie Kostecki was in the hunt for that podium fight, only for Erebus Motorsport's night to go from bad to worse early in the second stint. The #99 Holden driver was slapped with a drive-through for speeding in pitlane, 23rd the best he could manage at the finish.

Todd Hazelwood finished fifth ahead of Jack Le Brocq, who was best of the drivers to run the 'alternate' strategy. 

The Tickford driver started on the softs rather than the hards, and was able to work his way through to second place before switching to the hard.

He then resumed in what was effectively fourth, but lost spots to the two Brad Jones Racing drivers on the soft tyres. 

Tim Slade and Cam Waters finished seventh and eighth, while Scott Pye made good progress to finish ninth after starting outside the Top 20. 

Bryce Fullwood came home 10th after running the softs-to-hards like Le Brocq. 

Brown, meanwhile, recovered to 11th, one spot ahead of Anton De Pasquale that came from the very back of the grid due to his gearbox issue in qualifying.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB  
2 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 17.002
3 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 24.715
4 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 25.303
5 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 26.214
6 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 30.398
7 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 32.916
8 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 33.840
9 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 38.927
10 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 38.948
11 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 47.502
12 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 48.165
13 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 50.482
14 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 54.330
15 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 55.685
16 34 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 57.694
17 19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.160
18 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.021
19 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.983
20 22 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.469
21 35 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.838
22 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1'09.221
23 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'09.588
24 26 Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 1'19.162
25 27 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'25.667
  7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT  

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