Shane van Gisbergen has taken Holden’s 500th win, his first Championship race win for Red Bull Racing Australia and first career victory at Symmons Plains.
The quick Kiwi led teammate Jamie Whincup home in race one at the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint this afternoon after starting third for today’s 120km race.
The first race to run the new format was an exciting one, with battles throughout the field from start to finish.
An early pit stop for Whincup – as soon as the pit window opened – helped him launch to the front after starting seventh.
But as the stops cycled through it was teammate van Gisbergen who took the lead at turn four – the hairpin – and sprinted home.
TEKNO’s new recruit Will Davison pressured the Red Bull #88 Commodore and earned his first podium for the team, ensuring Holden filled the podium for the 500th victory.
“That was a great race, pretty exiting at the start – 500 wins for Holden, so that’s an awesome stat,” van Gisbergen said.
“It was great racing with Craig and Jamie,” he added after hard but fair battles with both teammates during the race.
Van Gisbergen also paid tribute to his old team.
“They’ve had a tough week with Steve [Hallam] leaving, but to get a podium, I’m so happy for them.”
It was a tough day for Volvo, with the bonnet on Scott McLaughlin’s car up on the grid, the young Kiwi suffering an engine issue that forced him to start from pit lane and miss much of the race.
Pole man and 2015 champ Mark Winterbottom held the lead off the start but overshot his pit box and ultimately lost time in pit lane.
Battles emerged throughout the field with bumps between old foes Garth Tander and Jason Bright, and Tim Slade was a focus in the later stage of the race after he stopped late and spurred forward with fresh soft tyres, grabbing eighth from Winterbottom at the final corner on the last lap.
Next highest placed Kiwi driver was Chris Pither in 17th followed by Fabian Coulthard in 18th, Andre Heimgartner in 25th and Scott McLaughlin in 26th.
The V8 Supercars line up for another 200km in Tasmania tomorrow, with qualifying kicking off at 11.40am local time.