A late-race safety-car period and superior tyre strategy gave Shane van Gisbergen his second V8 Supercars career win in Sunday’s 200 kilometre race of the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
With just eleven laps remaining, series leader Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup, had looked certain to take the victory before a high-speed crash involving Karl Reindler of Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing, brought out the safety-car.
Leading the pack at the restart and setting up a re-run of the previous day’s dramatic third safety car restart race were Whincup, Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes, Orrcon Steel FPR’s Mark Winterbottom and Fujitsu Racing GRM’s Lee Holdsworth.
For the first time this weekend, teams could use a set of the softer, faster tyres at their discretion during the 200km race and Whincup and Holdsworth who had pitted from first and second on lap 43, both going to the hard tyres were helpless against those soft option tyre runners.
Winterbottomand Lowndes were the early winners, leap-frogging Whincup. But it was the 22-year old van-Gisbergen, who having started in twelfth, stormed through to claim victory, reeling in Winterbottom and then Lowndes with just three laps to go. The win moves the SP Tools Racing driver above Saturday’s winner, Rick Kelly, to third in the title race.
“That was awesome! Yesterday was a bit of a shambles but we had a bit of luck with that last Safety Car and that’s what we were hoping for with our strategy,” said the ecstatic New-Zealander.
“I could see Craig was in trouble with his rear tyres and I didn’t have much left when I passed him either. But it’s perfect for our championship,” he continued.
Lowndes claimed his second podium finish in as many days, whittling the gap to teammate and points leader Whincup down to 156 points, almost the equivalent of one race win. Winterbottom finished in third place, making up for a disappointing result in the first race.
Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Racing’s Russell Ingall rounded out the top five, followed home by Whincup, Trading Post FPR Falcon driver Will Davison, Irwin Racing’s Alex Davison, Jim Beam Racing’s Steven Johnson and Jana Living Racing’s Jason Bargwanna.
After a crash in race one, Jason Bright's weekend went from bad to worse when the Team BOC Commodore detonated an engine on lap 11, leaving a trail of oil on the circuit. The spill resulted in him, Toll Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney, Karl Reindler and Rick Kelly all sliding off the track.
Saturday race winner Jack Daniel’s Racing’s Rick Kelly was also to later lose out badly when his fuel strategy forced the early use of his Sprint tyres and he finished in twentieth.
The next round will be the Sucrogen Townsville 400 from 8-10 July.
Race 13 results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||51||01:10:6435||01:27:04:3716||69||150|
|2||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||49||01:09:8139||01:27:05:2655||69||138|
|3||Orrcon Steel FPR
|Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||49||01:09:8240||01:27:06:1017||69||129|
|4||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||46||01:10:6596||01:27:06:5474||69||120|
|Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||47||01:10:6386||01:27:09:4492||69||111|
|6||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||9||01:10:5574||01:27:11:5742||69||102|
|7||Trading Post FPR
|Will Davison||Falcon FG||56||01:10:5268||01:27:12:1848||69||96|
|8||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||48||01:09:9182||01:27:15:0812||69||90|
|9||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||48||01:10:7126||01:27:15:6765||69||84|
|10||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||51||01:10:2019||01:27:17:3615||69||78|
|11||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||57||01:09:9252||01:27:17:5202||69||72|
|12||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||48||01:09:7450||01:27:19:1062||69||69|
|13||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||54||01:10:7231||01:27:20:4378||69||66|
|14||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||51||01:10:8403||01:27:20:4652||69||63|
|15||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||2||01:10:3369||01:27:22:5310||69||60|
|16||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||47||01:10:4025||01:27:24:9813||69||57|
|Tony D’Alberto||Falcon FG||51||01:10:7063||01:27:29:1436||69||54|
|18||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||51||01:10:2223||01:27:32:2109||69||51|
|19||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||49||01:10:3362||01:27:33:4502||69||48|
|20||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||41||01:10:9453||01:27:44:0197||69||45|
|21||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||63||01:11:1628||01:27:49:8758||69|
|22||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||18||01:11:8012||01:27:36:1328||68||39|
|23||Gulf Western Oil
|Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||48||01:10:3397||01:28:05:6452||68||36|
|24||Toll Holden Racing
|James Courtney||Commodore VE2||46||01:09:8966||01:27:40:5068||63||33|
|25||Fair Dinkum Sheds
|Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||52||01:12:4089||01:28:05:2757||63||30|
|26||Toll Holden Racing
|Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||6||01:11:7237||01:27:37:5319||56||27|
|DNF||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||6||01:12:4631||58:23:7959||45||0|
|DNF||Team Boc||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||6||01:12:2644||12:17:4783||10||0|