Shane van Gisbergen has won his first V8 Supercar race at his home event, in the final 200km race in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The 21-year-old crossed the line just 0.78s clear of Fujitsu Racing's Lee Holdsworth with Garth Tander rounding out the podium from 19th on the grid.
“I can't believe it, I could hear the fans cheering and I was trying to keep concentrating,” said van Gisbergen. “It was pretty tough those last few laps. It was dÃ©jÃ vu like Sydney last year but I knew we had plenty of fuel this time – I'm stoked!
“When you have a whole nation behind you, it's hard not to get excited. I owe the boys some beers tonight!”
Having started fourth on the grid, van Gisbergen got past Jim Beam Racing driver Steve Owen at the very first corner. His big double-move came on laps 24 and 25, overtaking Post FPR's Will Davison, and then diving down the inside of race one winner Rick Kelly, to hit the front.
Following two late safety-car deployments, which bunched the field up, it all came down to the nine-lap sprint to the finish. But van Gisbergen held his nerve to claim the top-spot.
Several of the championship frontrunners hit trouble in the 59-lap race, including Toll Holden's James Courtney, who lasted just three laps before a collision with a tyre bundle ended his race; and Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom, both of whom were involved in a multi-car pile-up after Michael Caruso spun. Winterbottom's Ford was too badly damaged to continue, while Whincup limped to the pits for repairs to his Commodore and finished 18th, two laps down.
Jason Bargwanna was also caught up in the carnage and was forced to drive back blind to the pits with his bonnet up in front of his windscreen. The Jana Living Racing driver has had a difficult start to the season, having been involved in five accidents in six races so far.
Will Davison finished fourth for Trading Post FPR, with VIP Petfoods' Steve Owen scoring a personal best result in fifth.
The top 10 was completed by Jack Daniel Racing's Rick Kelly, Irwin Racing's Alex Davison, Russell Ingall of Supercheap Auto Racing, Jim Beam Racing's Steven Johnson and Team Vodafone's Craig Lowndes, who recovered from a drive through penalty for crossing the pit exit lane blend line.
The V8 Supercars now head to Perth for the Trading Post Perth Challenge at Barbagallo Raceway from 29 April to 1 May.
Race 6 results:
|Pos||Entrant||Driver||Vehicle||Fastest Lap||Fastest Lap Time||Race Time||Laps||Points|
|1||SP Tools Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Falcon FG||51||01:23:7211||01:34:19:8748||59||150|
|2||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Commodore VE2||38||01:23:6001||01:34:20:6575||59||138|
|3||Toll Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Commodore VE2||52||01:23:7157||01:34:26:0864||59||129|
|4||Trading Post FPR Falcon||Will Davison||Falcon FG||36||01:23:6569||01:34:28:2543||59||120|
|5||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Commodore VE2||39||01:23:8738||01:34:32:4021||59||111|
|6||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Commodore VE2||37||01:23:9474||01:34:35:1604||59||102|
|7||Irwin Racing||Alex Davison||Falcon FG||39||01:23:9425||01:34:35:2822||59||96|
|8||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Commodore VE2||42||01:24:1425||01:34:35:8649||59||90|
|9||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Falcon FG||40||01:24:7580||01:34:36:6180||59||84|
|10||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Commodore VE2||41||01:24:2323||01:34:38:5023||59||78|
|11||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Commodore VE2||37||01:24:0700||01:34:39:9275||59||72|
|12||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Falcon FG||40||01:24:7033||01:34:40:8585||59||69|
|13||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Commodore VE2||36||01:24:3033||01:34:43:5946||59||66|
|14||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Falcon FG||18||01:24:5185||01:34:43:9523||59||63|
|15||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Commodore VE2||5||01:24:1576||01:34:47:9227||59||60|
|16||Gulf Western Oil Racing||Warren Luff||Commodore VE2||19||01:25:3949||01:34:53:8513||59||57|
|17||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Falcon FG||40||01:24:0952||01:35:20:8381||59||54|
|18||TeamVodafone||Jamie Whincup||Commodore VE2||39||01:22:8973||01:34:50:3606||57||51|
|19||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Paul Dumbrell||Falcon FG||56||01:27:4979||01:35:22:0695||56||48|
|20||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Commodore VE2||27||01:25:1576||01:34:58:6723||48||45|
|DNF||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Falcon FG||40||01:24:1513||01:28:51:4257||55||0|
|DNF||Bundaberg Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Commodore VE2||41||01:24:1609||01:28:53:1419||55||0|
|DNF||Wilson Security Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Falcon FG||37||01:24:1484||01:11:53:2337||46||0|
|DNF||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Commodore VE2||3||01:24:4662||01:07:21:8631||43||0|
|DNF||Jana Living Racing||Jason Bargwanna||Commodore VE2||16||01:24:2822||31:38:3157||20||0|
|DNF||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Falcon FG||16||01:24:3296||29:26:3494||19||0|
|DNF||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Commodore VE2||6||01:24:7124||17:05:0665||9||0|
|DNF||Toll Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Commodore VE2||2||01:25:5818||04:54:9293||3||0|