5 Nov 2016

Van Gisbergen wins race two at Pukekohe

6:46 pm on 5 November 2016

Shane van Gisbergen's 148-point Supercars lead remains intact with just four races remaining in the season after squaring up with Jamie Whincup at Pukekohe Park.

Jamie Whincup (L) and Shane van Gisbergen.

Jamie Whincup (L) and Shane van Gisbergen. Photo: Copyright free

The Red Bull Racing drivers split the two races between them on Saturday, showing the dominance that has earned them yet another teams' championship.

The first race was a procession.

Whincup jumped pole sitter van Gisbergen off the line and wasn't headed as van Gisbergen settled for runner-up.

The second was action-packed.

Determined not to let a second pole position slip, the Aucklander fought off his teammate from the grid to rapturous applause from his home crowd.

Whincup made three strong efforts in the opening laps to overtake van Gisbergen, with the pair taking the home straight side-by-side on lap three.

Each time the Kiwi responded, and Whincup's challenge was effectively over on lap 18 when he missed his apex at turn five and was forced to take evasive action.

The pair of one-two results means van Gisbergen's lead remains steady at 148 points.

Shane van Gisbergen wins the opening race at the Gold Coast 600.

Shane van Gisbergen wins the opening race at the Gold Coast 600. Photo: Supplied

With 450 points to play for in Auckland and the season-ending Homebush meet, the 27-year-old needs only to finish sixth in the final four races to claim a maiden championship.

Excepting moves off the line, no passing moves were completed by the top seven drivers over 70 laps in a drab day's racing compromised by the 100km sprint format.

But there was plenty of action further back, with Jason Bright's garage competing against the clock to have his Commodore ready to race on Sunday after a major crash.

A bump with Chris Pither sent Bright into the grass at 180km/h and into the wall leading to the pit lane entry.

Pither was served a drive-through penalty for his impact.

Bright was able to walk away from the crash, and will rely on his engineers to get back in his Holden again in New Zealand.

"I copped a pretty big whack in the right rear, we'll see what the guys can salvage," he said.

Also in race one, James Moffat also blunted Dale Wood's bonnet by re-entering the track from a short cut through the grass, and Chaz Mostert finished down the order after a trip through the sand.

Scott McLaughlin filled out the podium on race one, while Mostert recovered to finish third in race two.

McLaughlin, who sits fourth in the championship, whittled the margin to third- placed Craig Lowndes on a productive day in his home country.

His third and seventh places, compared with Lowndes' 16th and 15th finishes, means the Volvo man is just 22 points from third place.