Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen runs down Whincup again

Shane van Gisbergen ran down teammate Jamie Whincup for a second day running on the streets of Townsville.

Whincup converted his pole position into an early lead, and was even given a slight reprieve on the opening lap when Nick Percat snuck past van Gisbergen.

The Kiwi swiftly reclaimed second spot, though, before settling into a rhythm around a second behind his teammate.

As the first round of stops approached van Gisbergen started to hustle Whincup, the gap down to just over half a second when Whincup pitted on Lap 28.

Van Gisbergen made his first stop four laps later, taking on more fuel than the #88. Between that and the undercut he found himself 10s behind Whincup.

On better rubber van Gisbergen was able to eat through that margin across the second stint, the gap coming down to around 2s by the time Whincup pitted for a second time on Lap 60.

Once again van Gisbergen went longer, taking his second service on Lap 65. And once again the undercut helped grow Whincup's lead, the margin just over 6s when van Gisbergen got going again.

Helped by Whincup hitting some traffic, van Gisbergen was able to quickly close onto the back of his teammate. Within 10 laps he was tucked under Whincup's rear wing, before making a play for the lead on Lap 76.

His first attempt was at Turn 11, Whincup slamming the door closed as van Gisbergen took a look up the inside. Van Gisbergen then got the move done at Turn 13, the pair making light contact mid-corner as the lead changed hands.

Once in front there was no stopping van Gisbergen, who, in what was a near carbon copy of yesterday's race, cruised to a 10th win of the season and 50th of his career. 

"Thanks to Red Bull Ampol Racing, our cars were fantastic," said van Gisbergen. "Another sub-par start from me and then I had to pay for it all race. But I feel a lot better today, I paced myself and was a lot smoother. It's awesome to get another 300 points."

Whincup, meanwhile, was left a little deflated having led the majority of both of the weekend's races. 

"We gave it everything we had," he said. "I'm obviously rapt for the team result, it couldn't be a better weekend. But there's a part of me that's gut-wrenched. I led 140-something laps this weekend and didn't get any chocolate. 

"That bit is painful, but I've got to put that aside."

Van Gisbergen's series lead over Whincup is now 245 points, with everyone else now more than a full round's worth of points behind the Kiwi.

For the second day running Anton De Pasquale finished a lonely third, although he did improve on the 30-second deficit from yesterday, finishing 23s off the winner.

It was Percat that looked bound for third place early in the race, only to have his charge dulled by a power steering issue late in the first stint. 

He came in on Lap 25 looking for a bigger steering wheel to make the car easier to drive, which caught the Brad Jones Racing crew by surprise. After a delayed stop he was sent out for another stint battling away on the standard steering wheel, only switching to the 'bus wheel' at his second stop.

The best he could manage was 21st at the finish.

Will Davison finished fourth while Will Brown and Cam Waters staged an epic late battle over fifth place. It was Brown that came out on top after passing Waters at the last corner on the penultimate race. 

Todd Hazelwood enjoyed a solid day out with seventh place ahead of Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert and Jack Le Brocq. 

Race 2 results:

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB -  
2 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 2.925 2.926
3 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 23.334 23.335
4 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 40.034 40.034
5 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 46.588 46.589
6 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 50.408 50.408
7 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 53.414 53.415
8 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 53.758 53.759
9 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.154 1'02.155
10 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1'08.579 1'08.579
11 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1'13.632 1'13.633
12 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1'14.964 1'14.965
13 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
14 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
15 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
16 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
17 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
18 35 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
19 22 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
20 34 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  
21 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 3 laps  
22 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 4 laps  
23 26 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 14 laps  
  19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB    
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