Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen beats Whincup in opener

Shane van Gisbergen beat teammate Jamie Whincup to victory in the opening leg of the Townsville 500. 

It was Whincup that got the best of the start, the seven-time series champ jumping polesitter van Gisbergen on the long run through Turn 1 and into Turn 2.

Behind the two Red Bull Holdens the big winner on the first lap was James Courtney, who barged his way down the inside of both Dick Johnson Racing cars at Turn 2 to grab third spot.

Whincup then steadily edged away from his teammate across the first stint, the gap stabilising at around three seconds. 

Courtney, meanwhile, didn't quite make it to the end of the first stint in third place. Having shadowed van Gisbergen in the early stages, his pace dropped off dramatically around the Lap 20 mark. 

That brought Anton De Pasquale into the game, the DJR Mustang sliding down the inside of the Tickford Ford at Turn 13 on Lap 23.

Courtney then dropped behind Percat before taking his first stop on Lap 27, a lock-up on his out-lap then taking him right out of contention. 

Whincup took his first stop on Lap 29, while van Gisbergen stretched his first stint until Lap 33, took on more fuel and dropped back to third behind De Pasquale. He wasn't there for long, though, van Gisbergen reclaiming second spot on Lap 36.

By then Whincup was more than 9s down the road, but the gap didn't last. Van Gisbergen was able to chase Whincup down across the second stint, just 2s between them when Whincup made his second stop on Lap 58.

Van Gisbergen ran long again, his second service coming on Lap 64. Whincup initially had a 4s lead after his teammate's stop, but, with better tyre condition, van Gisbergen quickly made in-roads. 

Within a couple of laps the gap was within a second, van Gisbergen then sliding down the inside of his teammate at Turn 11 on Lap 70.

With more than a quarter of a minute to the rest of the field, the T8 drivers could then cruise to a comfortable one-two, 7.3s separating them at the finish.

Van Gisbergen's only concern at the finish was his fitness, as he continued to recover from a collarbone injury sustained earlier in the year. 

"I'm pretty wrecked, but I'll get fixed up and go again tomorrow," he said. "That was really physical. 

"Our cars were awesome, that was super cool. It was good fun, I knew I had one shot to [pass Jamie] before the tyres cooked, and I got him."

De Pasquale finished a lonely third ahead of Percat. David Reynolds was fifth, despite spending most of the third stint with mirrors full of Tim Slade.

Will Davison had been running in a comfortable fifth until three laps from the end, when he was forced to make a third stop due to a miscalculation on the minimum fuel drop. That left him ninth at the chequered flag.

"It's obviously disappointing, I'm gutted for the team," said Davison. "It's such a fine line and they do such a good job. But that's the way it goes."

The Townsville 500 continues with a second 250-kilometre race tomorrow. 

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Time
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB
2 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 7.368
3 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Ford Mustang GT 37.453
4 8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 48.879
5 26 Australia David Reynolds
Ford Mustang GT 51.354
6 3 Australia Tim Slade
Ford Mustang GT 51.986
7 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 1'00.213
8 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 1 lap
9 17 Australia Will Davison
Ford Mustang GT 1 lap
10 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
11 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
12 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 1 lap
13 99 Brodie Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
14 25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
15 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 1 lap
16 96 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
17 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
18 9 Australia Will Brown
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
19 34 Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
20 22 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
21 19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Holden Commodore ZB 2 laps
22 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 8 laps
23 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 10 laps
24 35 Australia Zane Goddard
Holden Commodore ZB 11 laps
shares
comments

Related video

Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen storms to pole

Previous article

Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen storms to pole

Next article

Townsville Supercars: Provisional pole for Whincup

Townsville Supercars: Provisional pole for Whincup
Load comments
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020