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.

Pukekohe Supercars: Investigation threatens Holden one-two

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.

Race results:

 

Cla Driver Car Time
1 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB  
2 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 2.3630
3 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 12.6491
4 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 15.4278
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 16.0890
6 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 16.8914
7 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 21.3831
8 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 21.9957
9 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 24.8224
10 New Zealand Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 25.9268
11 Australia Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 26.6606
12 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 31.8490
13 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 32.2795
14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 37.8498
15 Australia Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 38.3197
16 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 38.5860
17 Australia James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 39.9848
18 Australia Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 42.1784
19 Australia Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 47.0307
20 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 57.9018
21 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
22 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 5 laps
  Australia James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 10 laps
  Australia Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 14 laps

 

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