After a poor qualifying result and a sixth placing in the first of three races at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint, current Repco Australia Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has bounced back to win the round and increase his points advantage over Red Bull Ampol Racing team mate Jamie Whincup.
“We had better qualifying results and a better race car today,” commented van Gisbergen. “The first race was epic, but a bit awkward for the team, as it always is when you race hard against your teammate. It was a little bit tense, but we had good discussions after the race.”
Van Gisbergen’s win in Race 18 was his 11th for the season and a result of his shorter two-tyre stop enabling him to rejoin the race in front of race leader Whincup who had opted for a three-tyre stop. Spectators were then treated to a tight battle for a number of laps before Whincup backed off, eventually finishing second ahead of Chaz Mostert who held off a late charge by Will Davison.
“In the final race, our car was amazing. I got to the lead and then the safety car came out. I was a little bit unlucky and lost the lead as I came into the pits straight away. The battle with Cam (Waters) was epic, but I just couldn’t get him at the end there.”
A mid-race Safety Car, following an accident for Macauley Jones, aided Cam Water’s run to his second victory of the weekend. With many opting to pit immediately, Waters, Todd Hazelwood and Nick Percat managed to jump the Safety Car leaving van Gisbergen to fight back to the front. While he was able to catch Waters, van Gisbergen could not make it past the defending race leader, fnishing second ahead of Will Davison.
“I’m not disappointed in that result, but it would’ve been good to get the win because we’ve been pretty good up here for the last two weeks. All in all, we got the round win so that’s pretty cool.”
Van Gisbergen has extended his series lead over Whincup to 276 points with Waters in third.