Tailem Bend Supercars: Van Gisbergen banks valuable win

A dominant win in the first-ever Supercars race at The Bend Motorsport Park has helped Shane van Gisbergen close to within 41 points of series leader Scott McLaughlin.

Tailem Bend Supercars: Van Gisbergen banks valuable win

The two Red Bull Holdens made their intentions clear from the outset, bolting off the line and into a four-second lead over the rest of the pack within three laps.

Initially it was polesitter Jamie Whincup with a narrow lead over van Gisbergen, until the Kiwi eased his way past his teammate on Lap 5.

That proved to be a pivotal move. Just two laps later a stranded Garth Tander led to a Safety Car, effectively forcing both of the leading Triple Eight Commodores into the lane together.

As a result Whincup was forced to stack, which dumped him down to eighth before the Lap 9 restart.

With Whincup effectively out of the running, van Gisbergen's only real challenge was from Rick Kelly. The Nissan driver was promoted from third to second during the caution, having passed teammate Michael Caruso just moments after van Gisbergen past Whincup.

But while Kelly looked sprightly enough at the restart, there was no genuine challenge for the lead. Within a handful of laps the lead was out to 2s, van Gisbergen stretching it to over 6s at the finish.

"Awesome race," said van Gisbergen. "I had a good battle with Jamie at the start, unfortunately he had to get put back. It was about staying on the track, it was so hard. There was one line, very easy to make a mistake. I just tried to behave."

Kelly and Caruso finished a lonely second and third, while Whincup pulled off an impressive recovery to charge his way back past Will Davison, McLaughlin, and Mark Winterbottom to finish fourth.

The most important of those passes was the one on McLaughlin. The points leader could easily have been gifted fifth spot by Whincup being double-stacked, but in the end the best he could manage was sixth.

That means the gap at the top of the standings is now just 41 points.

"We've got plenty of work to do, but at the end of the day we're stepping in the right direction," said McLaughlin. "We just need another big chunk again. We'll move on, we'll work as a team. We'll just get through it."

James Courtney finished up eighth behind Davison, the Walkinshaw Andretti United the big mover making up 16 spots on where he qualified.

Chaz Mostert and Craig Lowndes were the best of the cars to have pitted before the Safety Car, finishing ninth and 10th respectively.

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB  
2 15 Australia Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 6.260
3 23 Australia Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 8.912
4 1 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 12.887
5 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG X 15.823
6 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG X 16.400
7 230 Australia Will Davison Ford Falcon FG X 16.776
8 25 Australia James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 17.239
9 55 Australia Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG X 18.419
10 888 Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 19.359
11 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 20.600
12 14 Australia Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 22.778
13 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG X 24.928
14 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG X 27.351
15 21 Australia Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 28.039
16 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 33.528
17 9 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 33.763
18 2 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 34.083
19 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 34.640
20 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Jason Bright
Holden Commodore ZB 39.772
21 34 Australia James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 41.897
22 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG X 43.283
23 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 43.715
24 99 Anton de Holden Commodore ZB 45.363
25 4 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 45.578
26 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG X 57.958
27 42 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.649
28 33 Australia Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 6 Laps
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Tailem Bend Supercars: Whincup recovers from spin to claim pole

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