It took nine months but Shane van Gisbergen finally delivered his first win of 2020 on Fathers Day.
The last time he was on the top of the podium before Townsville2 was in the previous November, on the streets of Newcastle.
But SvG pushed like crazy, advancing from the second row of the grid to an early lead, then popped with the landmark 200th victory for Roland Dane and his Triple Eight team.
As he turned on a signature sideways drift through the final corner, he was followed home by Scott McLaughlin and his Red Bull HRT team mate Jamie Whincup.
“We smoked them,” said van Gisbergen.
There was no celebration for Nick Percat, who faded to fourth after taking the first pole position of his career, but Mark Winterbottom was hugely happy as he advanced 10 places to finish in ninth.
“The expectation changes pretty quick. I knew pretty early that we wouldn’t have the long game like Shane,” said Percat.
The opening laps of the second race at Reid Park were good, but most of the later action was well back in the pack as the front-runners settled down to consolidate their places and championship positions.
McLaughlin is now 149 points ahead of Whincup, with Cam Waters well back in position three with a minus-425 total but past Chaz Mostert who he also defeated in the second Townsville sprint.
“We’re in a pretty good spot at the moment. Sometimes you get muscled out. We played it pretty safe,” said McLaughlin.
The scene is now set for a torrid final tussle in Townsville, as Todd Hazelwood will lead the field from his first pole position with Percat alongside, Mostert and Anton de Pasquale on the second row, McLaughlin only 10th and van Gisbergen in 12th.
Race 23: 39 laps
|1||Shane van Gisbergen|
|7||Jack Le Brocq|