Scotty’s charge is halted by Shane
SHANE van Gisbergen mounted a Holden fightback to halt the Mustang’s march at Pukekohe, but Triple Eight was denied a one-two finish after teammate Jamie Whincup was penalised post-race.
Van Gisbergen claimed his third victory for the year and Holden’s fourth to halt a run of three consecutive wins from runaway series leader Scott McLaughlin, who finished fourth in the 200km race at the Auckland Supersprint yesterday.
Whincup had finished second behind his teammate, but was slapped with a 15-second time penalty by stewards postrace for spinning Nick Percat on lap two.
The penalty demoted Whincup to sixth and elevated thirdplaced Tickford Racing pilot Cameron Waters to second and Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds to third.
Van Gisbergen’s win in front of his home crowd in New Zealand came after starting the race on pole and elevated him from fourth to second in the championship standings.
He now sits 586 points behind McLaughlin. The Holdens were granted fresh aero changes by Supercars ahead of the Auckland Supersprint in the ongoing push for parity and van Gisbergen hoped the team’s form had turned a corner.
“It was such a good day, the boys have been working hard,” van Gisbergen said.
“The aero changes seemed to make a difference, but whatever, it’s great to finally get a win and especially at home.
“The cars are obviously faster with this aero (change) but they don’t feel better. The balance is definitely worse, but they are faster so that’s OK.
“They are slow down the straight so that won’t help us there (at Bathurst), but hopefully we can get a nice balance over the top and be able to keep up.”
Whincup had started the race from 12th on the grid, but his effort to push up onto the podium was all in vain after the costly penalty.
The seven-time series champion argued after the race he had no where to go at turn eight before he made contact with Percat.
“Unfortunately I had a bit of contact with Nick ... but there wasn’t much I could do,” Whincup said.
“I was just bottled up, stopped in the middle of the corner and he come back down a lot harder than I expected.
“Hopefully they see it as these things happen when you are racing hard.”
Shane van Gisbergen wins Auckland’s SuperSprint event.