PUKEKOHE, New Zealand – Shane van Gisbergen fought off teammate Jamie Whincup in the opening laps of the second Saturday race at Pukekohe Park Raceway, then drove away to negate Whincup’s win from earlier in the day and retain his lead in the championship points race.
Van Gisbergen struggled off the start and had to hold off fellow Red Bull Racing Australia driver Whincup in the hairpin twice in the first two laps of the race. van Gisbergen used a daring move in the esses coming back onto the front straight to go side-by-side and retain the lead.
After that exchange, van Gisbergen drove off the front to bring his championship lead back up to 148 points over Whincup.
“That battle at the start was really cool,” he said. “I’m so stoked to win here, it’s really cool. There’s a big trophy up for grabs tomorrow and we’re in the running for that!”
“The start was critical,” he said. “I had a good start, but Shane got a better one. We had a good old battle and he was pretty ballsy through the second-to-last corner. It was a fantastic one-two performance.”
“We’re out of the championship running, so we’re aiming for champagne and got some champagne today!” he said. “The guys changed the car a lot from the first race to that race and it was a lot better. To end up on the podium is pretty cool!”
Garth Tander drove through the field in his No. 2 Holden Racing Team Commodore and came from 15th to finish in 10th. “The car looked after its tires really nicely in that first race, and then we made a change,” he said. “It was probably a bit faster in that (second) race, and it looked after its tires even better. Once I knew that the guys in front had tires that were struggling, I could get a good drive and get up the inside.”
The Supercars return to the track at Pukekohe for Race 26 tomorrow at 9:25 p.m. EDT.
About the Writer
James Pike is a multi-faceted reporter for Race Chaser Online and an analyst on the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
He is the lead correspondent for Race Chaser Online’s coverage of Australian Supercars and also covers regional touring series events in the Carolinas. He is a graduate of the Motorsports Management program at Belmont Abbey College and currently resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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