Townsville Supercars: Waters wins action-packed opener

Cam Waters won an entertaining opening race at the Townsville SuperSprint.

Townsville Supercars: Waters wins action-packed opener

The Tickford Racing star spent the first stint shadowing polesitter Anton De Pasquale, the two Fords separated by around a second.

Water then went for the undercut on Lap 15, diving into the pits to take his sole mandatory service. 

De Pasquale responded a lap later and managed to get out just ahead of Waters. But the advantage wasn't quite enough as he waited for his tyres to come up to temperature, Waters charging into the lead at Turn 2.

Once in front there was no stopping Waters, a well-executed second stint yielding a 2.8-second win.

"The old over and under," said Waters of the race-winning move on De Pasquale. "I knew I had to do it then. I'm so pumped. Obviously last week we got smoked, so to bounce back is absolutely unreal."

Jamie Whincup actually finished second on the road, eight-tenths behind Waters, but was classified fifth thanks to a 15-second penalty. That was for speeding in pitlane, Whincup having locked up on the way into the pits while trying to close the gap to Waters. 

The seven-time series champion made good progress in the second stint, passing De Pasquale for second when the Dick Johnson Racing driver made a mistake on Lap 31. But there was a three-position drop waiting once he crossed the finish line.

That left De Pasquale in second while Chaz Mostert rounded out the podium.

Tim Slade finished an impressive fourth to mark the Blanchard Racing Team's best result in Supercars.

That was after an imaginary battle with Whincup in the closing stages, Slade doing enough to edge the penalised #88 by seven-tenths.

Shane van Gisbergen finished sixth after an action-packed race.

Starting sixth, the Kiwi was shuffled back to eighth on the opening lap after avoiding a late-braking Brodie Kostecki on the way to the Turn 2 apex. 

He was lucky to avoid Kostecki a second time later in that first lap, van Gisbergen sitting on the outside of Todd Hazelwood as the Brad Jones Racing driver copped a boot full of Erebus Holden and was spat off the road.

On the second lap van Gisbergen got up the inside of Kostecki at the last corner, before trying to run his rival wide on the exit. The pair made wheel-to-wheel contact, Kostecki firing into the wall as van Gisbergen took over sixth spot.

Three laps later van Gisbergen made another aggressive last-corner move to snare fifth from Will Davison, fourth-placed Mostert his next victim seven laps later. But by then he'd already been slapped with a 15-second time penalty for the Kostecki contact, which meant that early headway was all in vain. 

As usual van Gisbergen ran long, stopping on Lap 21 and emerging way back in 19th. He then charged his way back to sixth across the second stint.

Finishing a spot behind Whincup means his series lead narrowed slightly to 239 points.

Scott Pye finished seventh ahead of James Courtney, Hazelwood and Will Brown.

Davison was shuffled back to 11th thanks to a slow stop and a front-left tyre that wouldn't come off the car. 

Kostecki, meanwhile, finished 22nd having battled through steering damage from the van Gisbergen contact, and a 15-second penalty of his own for the Hazelwood incident.

The Townsville SuperSprint continues with two more races tomorrow.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT
2 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Ford Mustang GT 2.871
3 25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 4.458
4 3 Australia Tim Slade
Ford Mustang GT 15.157
5 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 15.810
6 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 16.975
7 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 19.729
8 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 23.021
9 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 27.724
10 9 Australia Will Brown
Holden Commodore ZB 28.986
11 17 Australia Will Davison
Ford Mustang GT 33.905
12 35 Australia Zane Goddard
Holden Commodore ZB 34.771
13 8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 39.386
14 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 40.098
15 22 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 42.365
16 26 Australia David Reynolds
Ford Mustang GT 45.460
17 34 Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 52.845
18 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 54.186
19 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 1'15.518
20 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB
21 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB
22 99 Brodie Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB
19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Holden Commodore ZB
96 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB
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