Pukekohe Supercars: Investigation threatens Holden one-two
Shane van Gisbergen led a breakthrough one-two for the Red Bull Holden squad at Pukekohe, however Jamie Whincup's second place is now subject to a post-race investigation.
The Triple Eight pair took their first one-two finish since last year's Sandown 500, the result underpinned by a flawless performance by van Gisbergen.
However Lap 2 contact between Whincup and Nick Percat is subject to a post-race investigation, leaving a cloud over the result.
Van Gisbergen had to weather an early storm from fellow front-row starter Cam Waters, the Tickford Ford glued to the back of the Red Bull Holden for the first few laps.
The sting quickly came out of Waters' challenge, however, van Gisbergen able to build a 2.1s lead before the Safety Car was called to recover an out-of-fuel Mark Winterbottom on Lap 14.
Everyone who had not pitted hit the lane immediately, with the advantage swinging to the likes of Fabian Coulthard, Anton De Pasquale, and Whincup who had made early stops.
Coulthard led the way for the Lap 18 restart, Whincup swiftly passing De Pasquale to slot into second.
By Lap 24 the Red Bull Holden was in the lead, Whincup pouncing on a mistake by Coulthard at Turn 4.
Whincup did his best to sprint once in front, hoping to make up for a fuel deficit to teammate van Gisbergen from the first round of stops.
The seven-time champ managed to get 10s clear of van Gisbergen before making his second, much lengthier fuel stop on Lap 37 – including a tyre-torching lock-up at the control line coming into the lane.
Van Gisbergen pitted on Lap 40, emerging just in front of Whincup.
At the very same time the battle for effective third place between Waters and teammate Chaz Mostert turned nasty. After running side-by-side down the back straight, Waters nipped a front-right wheel on his way into the chicane and clattered into Mostert.
The Supercheap-backed Mustang was left with damaged suspension, which would require a stint in the garage that left him 13 laps down.
To add salt to the wound he would later be slapped with a drive-through penalty for speeding in pitlane.
Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, steadily pulled away from Whincup as the second stint wore on. His lead did get to as much as 4s, before coming back to 2.3s in the closing laps.
“I was a bit worried there in the middle, and at the start when we had all those Fords [pushing us],” said the race winner.
“But all the support here just makes you lift. You come here and it’s just an awesome feeling to have so many Kiwi fans.”
Whincup, meanwhile, said there was little he could have done differently during the Percat clash.
“I’ll go and speak to him straight away, but there wasn’t much I could do,” he said.
“I was bottled up, stopped in the middle of the corner and he came back down a lot harder than I expected.”
Will Davison finished third on the road, but a 15s penalty for pitlane speeding dumped him down to ninth.
That was good news for Waters, who inherited the final spot on the podium from his Tickford teammate.
David Reynolds came home fourth, while Scott McLaughlin was fourth, 16s behind the winner.
The Penske Ford driver still holds a formidable 577-point lead in the title race, with van Gisbergen jumping up to second in the standings.
Mostert, meanwhile, was dropped to fourth and now faces a 651-point gap to McLaughlin.
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB|
|2||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||2.3630|
|3||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||12.6491|
|4||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||15.4278|
|5||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||16.0890|
|6||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||16.8914|
|7||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||21.3831|
|8||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||21.9957|
|9||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||24.8224|
|10||Richie Stanaway||Holden Commodore ZB||25.9268|
|11||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||26.6606|
|12||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||31.8490|
|13||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||32.2795|
|14||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||37.8498|
|15||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||38.3197|
|16||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||38.5860|
|17||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||39.9848|
|18||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||42.1784|
|19||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||47.0307|
|20||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||57.9018|
|21||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1 lap|
|22||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||5 laps|
|James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||10 laps|
|Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||14 laps|
|View full results|
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