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Race report
Supercars Albert Park

Supercars Albert Park: Van Gisbergen holds off Kostecki in Race 1

Three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen held off Brodie Kostecki by three-tenths to win a fascinating opening race of the Albert Park Grand Prix weekend.

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Pole winner Anton De Pasquale made the best of the start in cold, drizzly conditions, the Dick Johnson Racing Ford driver initially leading the Camaros of Kostecki (Erebus) and van Gisbergen (Triple Eight).

Kostecki made life hard for himself soon after, though, showing the nose on De Pasquale at Turn 3 which then compromised his exit.

That allowed van Gisbergen to charge into second place at Turn 5 before he set after the leading Mustang.

It didn't take long for van Gisbergen to charge into the lead, the Kiwi breezing past De Pasquale into Turn 3 on the third lap.

Kostecki then came under pressure from Cam Waters, who ended up on the outside exiting Turn 10 while trying to get by on lap five.

The excursion slightly wide dropped the Tickford Ford driver back to sixth as he scrambled back onto the road.

There was more action in the lead group on lap 12 when Kostecki's team-mate Will Brown charged inside Chaz Mostert (WAU Camaro) into Turn 1 to grab fourth place.

Out front van Gisbergen was able to ease away from De Pasquale across the first stint, while Kostecki steadily worked his way back under De Pasquale's rear wing.

On lap 15 Kostecki made his move, diving under De Pasquale at Turn 11 to take over second place.

Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Interestingly the first stint stretched almost the entirety of the race for most of the field, the top 15 all waiting until the last three laps to take their mandatory service thanks to the durability of the super soft.

De Pasquale and Brown went on the third-last lap, a slow stop for De Pasquale dropping him from third on the road right back to sixth in the order.

Van Gisbergen, Kostecki then pitted at the end of the penultimate lap, Triple Eight and Erebus taking advantage of the wet race declaration to opt for two new super softs rather than four new hard compound tyres as otherwise required by the rules.

A slightly slow stop for van Gisbergen did allow Kostecki to close up on the Kiwi leaving the lane, but the reigning champion was able to hold on to take victory by three-tenths.

"Thanks to Dunlop; normally they don't get much praise, but I think it's good that they've done a good job here," said van Gisbergen. "No tyre failures, so thank you to them.

"Again thanks to my team. What I did to the car this morning – tried to write the thing off – and to fix it it up like they did, two good qualis and then a race win, I'm stoked."

De Pasquale's issues during the stops promoted Brown to third place, while Broc Feeney (Triple Eight) used his two-tyre stop to leapfrog his way up to fourth.

That dropped Mostert to fifth ahead of De Pasquale and Waters.

Jack Le Brocq came home eighth for Matt Stone Racing, from Tickford's James Courtney and BJR's Macauley Jones, another driver to run the two-tyre strategy to make up spots.

Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Mostert continues to lead the series with a 31-point margin over Kostecki. Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, is now 106 points behind Mostert in seventh as he continues to make up ground following his race one Newcastle disqualification.

Read Also:

The Melbourne SuperSprint continues tomorrow with a second sprint race starting at 2:55pm local time.

Hazelwood disqualified from opener

Todd Hazelwood has been thrown out of the opening Supercars race at Albert Park for a technical breach.

The Blanchard Racing Team Mustang was found to be running an incorrect drop gear in its transaxle at the end of Thursday's running at the Melbourne circuit.

While the illegal ratio was a straight line disadvantage for Hazelwood, the zero tolerance approach to technical breaches means the car has been disqualified from the opening race – in which he finished last. 

Hazelwood has also been demoted to rear of grid for the second race, given qualifying took place yesterday, although again he was only set to start second-last anyway.

Hazelwood will effectively be able to start fresh tomorrow when two new qualifying sessions will set the grids for the final two races of the weekend.

Supercars Albert Park - Race 1 results (19 laps)

Cla Driver Car Gap Interval
1 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Chevrolet    
2 Brodie Kostecki Chevrolet 0.3909 0.3909
3 Australia Will Brown Chevrolet 1.9525 1.5616
4 Broc Feeney Chevrolet 7.3770 5.4245
5 Australia Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 14.2994 6.9224
6 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 14.7792 0.4798
7 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 15.1324 0.3532
8 Australia Jack Le Brocq Chevrolet 15.1436 0.0112
9 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 17.0477 1.9041
10 Australia Macauley Jones Chevrolet 17.1765 0.1288
11 Australia Bryce Fullwood Chevrolet 20.1229 2.9464
12 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 21.9620 1.8391
13 Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 23.1600 1.1980
14 Australia Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 25.8511 2.6911
15 Australia Scott Pye Chevrolet 28.6819 2.8308
16 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 34.1778 5.4959
17 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Chevrolet 34.3633 0.1855
18 Cameron Hill Chevrolet 37.3620 2.9987
19 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 37.4694 0.1074
20 Australia Tim Slade Chevrolet 40.0391 2.5697
21 Australia Mark Winterbottom Chevrolet 41.2183 1.1792
22 Australia James Golding Chevrolet 41.2671 0.0488
23 Australia Jack Smith Chevrolet 41.5290 0.2619
24 Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 46.1083 4.5793
25 Australia Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 48.3739 2.2656

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