Finally, Shane van Gisbergen has been beaten in season 2021 of the Repco Supercars Championship.
Sadly for fans, and their rivals in the pitlane, it was his Red Bull Ampol team mate Jamie Whincup who did it.
So van Gisbergen’s winning streak stops at six, but The Bulls still have a perfect record with seven wins from seven starts.
“Wee. First win. Good to get a win,” said Whincup as he crossed the finish line.
It was Whincup’s 123rd win and it was one he had to earn, as he hunted down and passed the Monster Mustang of quickest qualifier Cam Waters.
So third eventually fell to Will Davison in the Shell V-Power Mustang, repeating the podium of his team mate Anton De Pasquale on Saturday afternoon.
The second of three sprints at Symmons Plains had far more action than the first, with a predictable first-lap melee that saw many cars carrying battle damage for the rest of the race and De Pasquale – who started from the second row – forced into a comeback run after being spun by Jac Le Brocq, who was penalised by Stewards.
Macca Jones also copped a penalty after he tapped James Courtney into a massive spin at the end of the first lap.
“It was pretty chaotic. Wrong place, wrong time,” said Fabian Coulthard, who eventually parked after losing excessive laps with mechanical repairs.
From the opening, Waters converted P1 into the race lead but he never looked happy and stopped early for a new set of rear tyres. It paid off after the stops as he held the lead, but he had no answer as both Whincup and SvG hunted him down and moved ahead.
“We’ve got a good qualifying car. But we’re struggling a bit for race pace,” said Tickford team boss Tim Edwards.
Youngster Will Brown did a top job in both qualifying and the race, running home in a solid fourth place for Erebus Racing, while Chaz Mostert never starred and was only just ahead of Mark Winterbottom in sixth.
There was plenty of joking by The Bulls after the race, with Whincup happy to have relegated van Gisbergen to the runner-up spot.
“He’s had a shocker. He’s come second,” Whincup laughed.
“I didn’t get the start I’d liked, but I had slightly better tyre life than Cam. Then Shane was coming.”
Despite his defeat, van Gisbergen said he had enjoyed the battle as he moved up from sixth on the grid.
“What an awesome race. Good moves coming through. Pulled a couple of big passes there,” van Gisbergen said.
“Great for Jamie to get his first win of the year.”
But Davison spoke for the rest of the field.
“We want to win. These guys are going it a bit easy at the moment,” he said.
Race 2 – 44 laps
|2||Shane van Gisbergen||Commodore|
Championship points (after 7 races)
- van Gisbergen, 787; 2. Whincup, -145; 3. Mostert, -202; 4. Waters, -214; 5. Winterbottom, -258; 6. Davison, -260; 7. David Reynolds, -383; 8. Andre Heimgartner, -393; 9. Brodie Kostecki, -394; 10. Will Brown, -407.