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Supercars Newcastle: Van Gisbergen dominates first Gen3 race

Shane van Gisbergen led a dominant Triple Eight Chevrolet 1-2 in the opening race of the Gen3 Supercars era in Newcastle.

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The reigning series champion made light work of the first ever Gen3 contest, leading the second two stints to come home ahead of Broc Feeney by more than 14 seconds.

Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert put Ford's Mustang third and fourth at the end of the 250-kilometre affair.

It was Brodie Kostecki that led the way in the first stint after making a smart start from pole.

The Erebus Chevrolet driver controlled the controlled a see-sawing battle among the top five as he led Waters, Triple Eight pair Feeney and van Gisbergen, and Tim Slade.

By the 15-lap mark, van Gisbergen got past Feeney and was able to start piling pressure onto Waters.

He couldn't find a way through, though, the top of the order remaining intact until the first round of stops was kicked off by Feeney on lap 28.

Waters and Slade pitted two laps later, the latter's charge slowed significantly by a wheel nut issue during his stop.

Leader Kostecki hit the lane on the following lap, the Coca-Cola Camaro re-emerging behind Waters and Feeney.

Van Gisbergen then stopped a lap later, jumping the lot as he took over the effective lead of the race.

The reigning champion continued to head Waters, Feeney and Kostecki across the second stint, which Kostecki brought to a close when he hit the lane for his second stop on lap 56.

Feeney did likewise a lap later, a shorter fill help him leapfrog Waters for second place as the Tickford Mustang stopped a lap later.

Somewhat predictably, van Gisbergen then ran long, not making his second stop until lap 65 of the 95.

Van Gisbergen was able to resume with the lead, the margin over Feeney initially 3.5s.

He was then able to romp away from his team-mate across the final stint to cross the finish line with a whopping 14s up his sleeve.

Podium: Race winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chevrolet, second place Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Chevrolet, third place Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing Ford

Podium: Race winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Chevrolet, second place Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Chevrolet, third place Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing Ford

Photo by: Edge Photographics

"I have to thank the team; 1-2 first race out," said van Gisbergen.

"I haven't been comfortable in this car and the team has done everything it can to make it better for me.

"I feel like a wobbler driving the thing, but the team has given us two great cars. Tomorrow will be tough. We've got to come back and do it again."

Feeney and Waters rounded out the podium, while Kostecki continued to fade as the race wore on.

He never recovered after dropping to fourth in the first round of stops, before finding himself in a heated battle with Mostert over fourth spot in the final stint.

The pair raced hard for several laps before Mostert finally got under Kostecki on the exit of Turn 1 on lap 80, which set him up to complete the pass into Turn 2.

That left Mostert clear to cruise home to fourth ahead of Kostecki, who was followed home by team-mate Will Brown, who worked his way forward from 11th on the grid.

Andre Heimgartner finished seventh ahead of Mark Winterbottom, Scott Pye and James Courtney.

David Reynolds saw a potential top five result go begging with a slow second stop with what looked to be a wheel issue, the Grove Racing driver ending up 12th.

His team-mate Matt Payne finished 14th to become the best of the rookies in the field.

It was a tough day out for Dick Johnson Racing, Will Davison the best of the Shell Fords in 13th. Anton De Pasquale found himself facing backwards early in the race after tangling with Todd Hazelwood and came home 18th.

Another driver to have a shocker was Nick Percat, the Walkinshaw Ford driver making good early progress from 21st on the grid before a brake issue took him out of the race. He was the only driver not classified.

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