14 Sep 2019

Hometown hero van Gisbergen wins Supercars from pole

8:03 pm on 14 September 2019

Hometown hero Shane van Gisbergen has won Saturday's Supercars race at Pukekohe, as Red Bull Holden Racing Team secured a one-two finish.

Shane van Gisbergen.

Shane van Gisbergen. Photo: Photosport

The New Zealander, who secured pole position earlier in the day, held off teammate Jamie Whincup to claim his fifth career win at the Pukekohe Park circuit in the 200km sprint race.

It's just the fourth win for a Commodore this season - three of which have been by van Gisbergen - in a year dominated by Ford's Mustang.

Van Gisbergen admitted aerodynamic adjustments made to the Commodore between the previous round at Tailem Bend in South Australia and Auckland had made a difference, giving the Holden driver hope of a big finish to the year particularly with the Bathurst 1000 later in September.

"I hope so, man. It was such a good day," he said.

"The boys have been working hard. The aero changes seem to have made a difference but whatever it's great to finally get a win and especially at home."

Whincup made the most of a fast car and a pitlane strategy gamble to climb from 12th at the starting grid to second.

The seven-time champion opted to pit early after Mark Winterbottom's Irwin Racing Commodore inexplicably ran out of fuel on the 13th lap.

Having only taken on a small amount of fuel, Whincup made the most of clear air to surge through the field and when all the pitstops had been sorted found himself on the rear bumper of van Gisbergen.

His result however is dependent on the outcome of a post-race investigation into an incident involving Whincup where Nick Percat was turned around on the second lap.

After a year of struggling to keep pace with the dominant Ford Mustangs, Saturday's result will be a huge boost to the Red Bull team heading into this month's Bathurst 1000 endurance race.

Ford's Cam Waters came home third despite a mid-race tangle with Tickford Racing teammate Chaz Mostert which sent Mostert to the back of the field.

Championship leader Scott McLaughlin struggled to make any impact after qualifying sixth and could only finish fifth.

Despite the disappointing day, the DJR Team Penske star holds a whopping 577 point lead in the title standings.

Van Gisbergen's win lifts him to second overall, replacing Mostert who drops below the Holden driver and third-placed Fabian Coulthard to fourth on the championship ladder.

Waters' podium finish was bittersweet for Tickford, who had dominated practice and had three cars in the top four of the starting grid.

Mostert's collision with Waters, which team principal Tim Edwards labelled "stupid", left the ex-Bathurst champion's Mustang crippled while Will Davison came home third but was then bumped down to ninth because of a 15-second penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit.

The Auckland SuperSprint wraps up on Sunday with another 200km race.