Shane van Gisbergen has claimed victory in race two of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, and with it a maiden V8 Supercars Championship race win for Tekno Autosports.
Van Gisbergen’s victory for Tekno Autosports has finally ended Triple Eight Race Engineering and Ford Performance Racing’s 34-race winning run, which started back with the Sandown 500 in 2011.
Having claimed back-to-back pole positions, van Gisbergen led the early stages of the race before Jamie Whincup got the jump with an early first pit stop. Positions were reversed at the second round of stops as van Gisbergen made his fuel strategy count, and the New Zealander pulled out a ten-second gap on the 2012 champion. Despite a late race Safety Car bunching the field with 11 laps to go, van Gisbergen survived the dash for the flag with a 2.2s victory over Whincup.
“It’s been great… It’s been overwhelming. I’m stoked to put a good race together,” van Gisbergen said.
“I got off the line alright today, which was awesome. Mark passed me but we were able to get by him.
“It was a tough race, I had good speed in the first and second stints, but when I got behind Jamie, these cars seem to heat up a lot and my pace stopped.
“My pace stopped for a moment and then got going again. I knew our last stop would be shorter so we got a gap, and then managed it. They were a fair way behind us, and then jumped us, so they must have short filled early. We didn’t have to save fuel – we were flat out the whole way.
“Jamie was pretty speedy at the end, but we had enough.”
A clash between Whincup and team-mate Craig Lowndes at the restart could have been costly as Lowndes squeezed out Whincup at turn six allowing Russell Ingall to pass both of them. Attempting to re-pass Ingall, Lowndes then overshot at turn nine handing Whincup second before crossing the line for third, just ahead of Ingall.
Behind Ingall, were the Pepsi Max Crew duo of Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison. The pair had been in contention for the podium before both drivers lost time with wheel nut problems in their second stops.
James Courtney, Tony D’Alberto, Scott McLaughlin and Jonathon Webb completed the top 10.
The weekend’s only Safety Car appearance came with 15 laps remaining. Trying to pass Scott Pye at Turn 8, Alex Davison drifted wide just before the apex, clipping the concrete barrier and sliding across the circuit into the inside wall.
There was more carnage at the restart as Rick Kelly was spun by Jason Bright into the path of brother Todd and Garth Tander at the final corner. The damage sustained was enough to put Bright, Todd Kelly and Tander out of the race. Post-race, Bright was docked 15 points for his contact with Kelly.
Of the 28 starters, just 17 cars crossed the finishing line.
Alexandre Prémat suffered power steering failure early in the race, while Fabian Coulthard and David Reynolds both collided with the turn eight wall after sliding on the fluid left behind by Prémat’s car.
It was another forgettable day for two of the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes entries as throttle problems plagued Maro Engel and Tim Slade, while a cool suit failure and gearbox issue cut short Michael Caruso’s day in the Nissan Motorsport Altima.
Craig Lowndes heads the V8 Supercars Championship table by 12 points over team-mate Whincup and Davison in third.