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Adelaide Supercars: Van Gisbergen wins again as rivals hit trouble

Shane van Gisbergen capped off a perfect weekend in Adelaide with a second win on Sunday, while Supercars title favourites Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin both dropped points

Van Gisbergen is now unbeaten in the South Australian capital across four races, backing up his double win in 2017 with another clean sweep this time around.

With last year's title combatants Whincup and McLaughlin both hitting trouble, van Gisbergen sits 42 points clear at the top of the standings after the opening round of the new season.

Whincup had made light work of the first part of the 78-lap race, building a 10-second lead over the first 25 laps as McLaughlin and van Gisbergen scrapped over second place.

Reigning champion Whincup's day looked like it was going to get even easier when a front-right puncture took McLaughlin out of the lead battle pack on lap 26, an unscheduled stop dropping the Penske Ford outside the top 20 and seemingly leaving the Red Bull Triple Eight Holdens free to run away with the race.

But just five laps later, Whincup hit troubles of his own. Rising gearbox temperatures finally caught up with his brand new ZB Commodore, the reigning champion limping back to the pits for his first DNF since 2013.

That left Saturday race winner van Gisbergen out front, but the race was hardly done.

David Reynolds looked to turn an impressive second stint into a play for the lead around the second stops, running three laps later than van Gisbergen and managing to sneak back out ahead with 33 laps to go.

But Reynolds' time at the front didn't last long, van Gisbergen making use of his warmer tyres to charge back on into the lead on that very same lap.

After dropping back to second Reynolds was able to hold on to van Gisbergen, while Garth Tander - who like Reynolds drifted into contention across the second stint - shadowed the top two as well.

But while they could hang on, neither made a genuine attempt for the lead. In the end van Gisbergen came home 0.8s clear of Reynolds, Tander dropping back to more than 3.5s off the winner.

"I love Adelaide, that was just awesome," said van Gisbergen.

"We went the wrong way with our set-up and had to battle it out there. Davey was really quick and I expected him to battle me back.

"I can't thank the team enough, it's an awesome debut for the new Commodore."

Chaz Mostert and Cam Waters finished fourth and fifth, but it wasn't all good news for the Tickford squad.

Mark Winterbottom had been in the mix for a good result of his own, sitting fourth as the second stops shook out.

But with 21 laps to go he was stung with a drive-through penalty for excessive kerb use, a decision that infuriated Tickford boss Tim Edwards.

"They make you cringe, particularly because he's been conservatively driving around it and watching the cars in front drive over it," he said. "So it's bullshit, it's absolute bullshit.

"If anyone actually bothered to look at the television screen, they'd actually see that."

James Courtney recovered from a poor qualifying effort to come home sixth, ahead of Craig Lowndes, Scott Pye, and Michael Caruso.

McLaughlin rounded out the top 10 thanks to a sharp recovery from his mid-race puncture.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 78 1h48m02.0912s
2 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 78 0.8247s
3 Garth Tander GRM Holden 78 3.6322s
4 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 78 5.9563s
5 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 78 11.2706s
6 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 78 13.9504s
7 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 78 14.6830s
8 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 78 16.8859s
9 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 78 17.2717s
10 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 78 25.0862s
11 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 78 25.7981s
12 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 78 30.2347s
13 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 78 30.7273s
14 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 78 34.9234s
15 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 78 35.5774s
16 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 78 42.1848s
17 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 78 44.0455s
18 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 78 51.8463s
19 James Golding GRM Holden 78 1m03.2025s
20 Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 78 1m06.3546s
21 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Ford 77 1 Lap
22 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 77 1 Lap
23 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 71 7 Laps
24 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 70 8 Laps
25 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 61 17 Laps
- Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 30 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Shane van Gisbergen 300
2 David Reynolds 258
3 James Courtney 240
4 Chaz Mostert 216
5 Scott McLaughlin 207
6 Garth Tander 186
7 Craig Lowndes 180
8 Mark Winterbottom 177
9 Cameron Waters 171
10 Scott Pye 168
11 Will Davison 159
12 Michael Caruso 147
13 Tim Slade 138
14 Nick Percat 132
15 Jamie Whincup 102
16 Lee Holdsworth 102
17 Anton De Pasquale 102
18 Simona de Silvestro 102
19 Rick Kelly 99
20 Fabian Coulthard 99
21 Andre Heimgartner 84
22 Jack Le Brocq 84
23 Todd Hazelwood 81
24 James Golding 48
25 Richie Stanaway 45
26 Tim Blanchard 36

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