Melbourne V8s: Shane van Gisbergen defeats Jamie Whincup in opener
|By Ben Anderson||Friday, March 14th 2014, 00:40 GMT|
Shane van Gisbergen won the first V8 Supercars support race to the 2014 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Friday.
Michael Caruso started the race from his and the Nissan Altima's maiden V8 Supercars pole, but Tekno Holden driver van Gisbergen lunged down the inside at Turn 1 on the first lap to take the lead.
Jamie Whincup made a bold move for the lead at Turn 3, driving around the outside of both Caruso and van Gisbergen, but the reigning champion could not make the move stick and slotted into second as van Gisbergen forced him wide on the exit.
Caruso's poor first lap continued as Scott McLaughlin grabbed third in the GRM Volvo with a bold move down the inside at Turn 13.
Whincup looked racey in the early stages and put van Gisbergen under pressure, with the leading group closing up behind them as they battled.
Triple Eight Holden driver Whincup had to get defensive coming out of the final turn on lap three, forcing McLaughlin onto the grass on the inside of the start-finish straight and allowing van Gisbergen to escape to victory.
The stewards took a dim view of Whincup's driving during the battle, giving him a five-place grid penalty for race two later on Friday.
Van Gisbergen raced on to score a comfortable six-second win, while Whincup held on narrowly to beat McLaughlin's Volvo to runner-up spot.
Caruso completed the top four, ahead of Fabian Coulthard and Garth Tander.
Championship leader Craig Lowndes, James Moffat, Chas Mostert and Todd Kelly completed the top 10 in what proved to be a tame conclusion.
Results - 10 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden 19m48.4102s 2. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +6.1803s 3. Scott McLaughlin GRM Volvo +7.1881s 4. Michael Caruso Nissan +7.4849s 5. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +8.0388s 6. Garth Tander HRT Holden +9.5136s 7. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +11.0891s 8. James Moffat Nissan +11.4754s 9. Chaz Mostert FPR Ford +11.9600s 10. Todd Kelly Nissan +12.4674s 11. Rick Kelly Nissan +12.7121s 12. Will Davison Erebus Mercedes +13.2026s 13. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +16.1806s 14. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +16.4129s 15. James Courtney HRT Holden +20.8795s 16. Tim Slade Rosenberg/HRT Holden +21.2128s 17. Nick Percat Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +22.5780s 18. Robert Dahlgren GRM Volvo +23.4963s 19. Russell Ingall Dumbrell Holden +25.8265s 20. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +26.4032s 21. Jack Perkins Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +30.6198s 22. Dale Wood Britek/BJR Holden +30.9776s 23. David Wall Dick Johnson Ford +31.2494s 24. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +36.3186s 25. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Ford +1m19.1095s