Melbourne V8 Supercars: Shane van Gisbergen wins race three
|By Edd Straw||Saturday, March 16th 2013, 05:18 GMT|
Shane van Gisbergen was the class of the field in a damp third non-championship V8 Supercars race of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
The Tekno Autosports driver started ninth after his impressive charge from the lower reaches of the grid in Friday afternoon's race following a gearbox problem in the opener, but it did not take him long to climb into the lead.
The New Zealander was up to fifth by the exit of the first corner and by Turn 3 had picked off both David Reynolds and Will Davison to run third.
With Fabian Coulthard, who had won the first two races of the quadruple header, and Craig Lowndes running side by side through Turns 13 and 14, van Gisbergen reeled them in during the second half of the lap.
When Lowndes attempted to go around the outside of Coulthard at Turn 15, the latter gave him as little room as possible at turn-in and van Gisbergen took second as the Triple 8 driver took to the grass.
Van Gisbergen then took the lead from Coulthard up the inside of Turn 1, only to skate off the track a few corners later and drop down to third.
But such was van Gisbergen's speed that it did not take him long to recover.
At Turn 3 a lap later, he passed Coulthard for second after his compatriot had cut across the grass at the first corner, a mistake that handed Lowndes the lead.
Lowndes then had a spectacular tail-out moment exiting the fast Turn 13 right-hander, which allowed van Gisbergen to get a run and pass him for the lead.
Van Gisbergen was never again challenged, dropping Lowndes and crossing the line almost 13 seconds clear despite losing time with some sideways showboating in the final corner as he approached the chequered flag amid a late-race downpour.
Jonathon Webb made it a double podium finish for Tekno Autosports with third after Coulthard lost time with a second off, the New Zealander eventually finishing fourth.
David Reynolds survived his own off-track moment to take fifth ahead of Brad Jones Racing's Jason Bright, who had started second but dropped down the order at the start thanks to wheelspin.
Behind James Courtney and Will Davison, Michael Caruso prevailed after a second half of the race during which the four Nissan Altima drivers indulged in some spectacular battling.
He finished ahead of Todd and Rick Kelly, with James Moffat dropping to 17th having previously been in the thick of the all-Nissan battle until a spin while battling with Jamie Whincup and Scott Pye at the penultimate corner a few laps from home.
Coulthard's fourth place means that he heads into Sunday's final race of the non-championship event with a 21-point lead over team-mate Bright.
Results - 12 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden 27m08.3375s 2. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden + 12.6072s 3. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 16.3445s 4. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden + 21.1064s 5. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 21.7928s 6. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 30.8568s 7. James Courtney HRT Holden + 31.8667s 8. Will Davison FPR Ford + 32.2297s 9. Michael Caruso Nissan + 35.0509s 10. Todd Kelly Nissan + 37.6428s 11. Rick Kelly Nissan + 41.0712s 12. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford + 41.2138s 13. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden + 43.3936s 14. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden + 44.8540s 15. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden + 46.8156s 16. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford + 47.0509s 17. James Moffat Nissan + 49.3929s 18. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden + 49.6502s 19. Tim Blanchard DJR Ford + 53.1394s 20. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden + 57.9757s 21. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden + 58.7163s 22. Jonny Reid DJR Ford + 1m04.4576s 23. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes + 1m05.2461s 24. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden + 1m10.8836s 25. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes + 1m24.9520s Retirements: Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes 8 laps Garth Tander HRT Holden 1 lap