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Mustangs Stampede Through The Bend

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen was bushwhacked by the Ford hordes at The Bend in the fourth round of the Repco Supercars Championship.

The Mustang runners shared the celebrations as Anton de Pasquale and Cam Waters joined the Blue Oval winners in the twin 24-lap Sunday sprints, after Andre Heimgartner had scored his landmark first Supercars victory – and the first for Kelly Grove Racing – in a rain-affected Saturday race.

Waters’ win, which came after a massive repair job to a Monster Mustang that had the right-rear corner torn away in the second race, also took Ford’s overall winning total in touring car racing to 401 victories on a day when Mark Winterbottom started his 500th consecutive Supercars race.

“I’ve got no words. We’ve had a fast car all weekend. We bounced back,” said Walters.

“The boys worked so bloody hard to fix the car, and not just fix it but give me a car capable of winning. It’s nice to get one up over him (SvG).”

“Bet he’s not whinging about parity now,” said van Gisbergen with a barb about Water’s complaints after being beaten at Symmons Plains.

“He drove awesome. I couldn’t quite get close enough to make a pass.

“But that’s alright. Good weekend. Good points.”

There were winners and losers across the pitlane, with no-one able to fully convert and SvG doing his best to minimise the threat to a championship lead that still stands at 190 points over his Red Bull Ampol team mate Jamie Whincup. His drive from 13th to third in the second race was a stand-out on a track where he has never truly starred.

Anton De Pasquale looked most likely to dominate when he bagged a pair of pole positions for Shell V-Power Racing and then led Will Davison to the team’s first 1-2 sweep of 2021 in Race 2, but an engine drama took him out of the lead in the final race and left Waters and van Gisbergen to squabble as Davison rolled him in third to five the team its eighth podium of the championship.

“I could feel something was happening. It was a struggle. She’s gone,” De Pasquale reported as he parked the #11 Mustang.

“But it’s been awesome, the car’s been really good. We’ll still have a good weekend.”

The youngster is showing more and more signs of maturing into the next Scott McLaughlin, while Davison is settling in as the experienced anchor.

“I pushed pretty hard and the car goes better and better,” said Davison.

Among the losers, David Reynolds was in every battle on Sunday – and always came out with damage and drama – as Chaz Mostert failed to repeat his win at Symmons Plains in the WAU Commodore and was another casualty of the Race 2 carnage.

“I thought we were racing Supercars, not dodgem cars. To be honest, I had no idea what was going on,” said Reynolds.

“Race two today was an absolute shocker. It’s been a crap weekend for us, but still a lot of positives. I think we had a top-five car,” he said.

Mostert is now best-of-the-rest in the championship standings behind The Bulls, ahead of Waters and Winterbottom, who continues to bank regular points. Brodie Kostecki, who was out-paced by his Erebus team mate Will Brown at the start of the weekend, also showed good form and sits tenth in the title fight.

The Supercars championship now continues at Winton in Victoria on May 29-30

Cam Waters wins race 3 of the OTR SuperSprint The Bend. Event 4 of the Repco Supercars Championship, Tailem Bend, Australia. 9 May 2021

OTR SuperSprint – The Bend
Race 2 – 24 Laps

  1. Anton De Pasquale, Mustang; 2. Will Davison, Mustang; 3. Shane van Gisbergen, Commodore; 4. James Courtney, Mustang; 5. Brodie Kostecki, Commodore.

Race 3 – 24 Laps

  1. Cam Waters, Mustang; 2. Shane van Gisbergen, Commodore; 3. Will Davison, Mustang; 4. Jamie Whincup, Commodore; 5. Chaz Mostert, Commodore.

Championship points:

  1. Van Gisbergen, 1112 points; 2. Whincup, -190; 3. Mostert, -246; 4. Davison, -251; 5. Waters, -264; 6. Winterbottom, -415; 7. De Pasquale, -464; 8. Heimgartner, -486; 9. Nick Percat, -485; 10. Brodie Kostecki, -487.

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