Supercars Sydney: van Gisbergen wins after Brown's pitstop disaster

Runaway Supercars championship leader Shane van Gisbergen won under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park after first-time poleman Will Brown was robbed of a first victory shot by a faulty wheelnut.

Supercars Sydney: van Gisbergen wins after Brown's pitstop disaster

Erebus Holden driver Brown made a perfect start to the race, holding off Triple Eight pair Jamie Whincup and van Gisbergen on the opening lap before settling into the lead.

The rookie continued to lead until lap six when he pitted to cover Whincup, who had stopped a lap earlier. However his race then unravelled as a faulty wheelnut led to a 20-odd second stop that took him out of the running.

That effectively left the two T8 drivers in control of the race, van Gisbergen leading for the next six laps as he went long on his set of hard compound Dunlops.

That meant he came out behind Whincup, who enjoyed the short-term benefit of the undercut, but the Kiwi had significantly better tyre condition. On lap 18, van Gisbergen eased his way past his team-mate to take over a lead he would hold until the finish.

His final winning margin over Whincup was 17s, the one-two coming in what is Triple Eight's 250th round in Supercars.

"I can't thank Red Bull Ampol Racing enough," said van Gisbergen.

"Admittedly the fastest car [practice pacesetter Anton de Pasquale] was at the back [after a gearbox issue in qualifying], so I'm excited to see how we go against them tomorrow. But the team has done a great job. I hope it was a good show."

The battle for third place boiled down to a tense scrap between Will Davison (Dick Johnson Racing) and Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) in the final third of the race.

Will Brown, Erebus Motorsport Holden

Will Brown, Erebus Motorsport Holden

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Percat threw everything he had at a defensive Davison, particularly in the closing laps, but the Mustang driver held on by a few tenths. Post-race, however, Davison said he was more worried about lap one contact with van Gisbergen that sent him wide at Turn 2.

"I tried to go two wide with Shane through [Turn] 1, I don't know what his problem is with me but he tried to screw me in practice this morning, just had me off out of [Turn] 1," said Davison.

"Bit weird. But that's not my excuse, I wasn't quick enough early on the hard tyres."

Brodie Kostecki was in the hunt for that podium fight, only for the Erebus team's night to go from bad to worse early in the second stint. The #99 Holden driver was slapped with a drive-through for speeding in pitlane, 23rd the best he could manage at the finish.

Percat's BJR team-mate Todd Hazelwood finished fifth ahead of Jack Le Brocq, who was best of the drivers to run the 'alternate' strategy.

The Tickford driver started on the softs rather than the hards, and was able to work his way through to second place before switching to the hard.

He then resumed in what was effectively fourth, but lost spots to Percat and Hazelwood on the soft tyres.

Tim Slade (Blanchard Racing Team) and Cam Waters (Tickford) finished seventh and eighth, while Team 18 racer Scott Pye made good progress to finish ninth after starting outside the top 20.

Waklinshaw Andretti United's Bryce Fullwood came home 10th after echoing Le Brocq's softs-to-hards strategy.

Brown, meanwhile, recovered to 11th, one spot ahead of De Pasquale.

Supercars Sydney Race 1 Results (32 laps)

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB -    
2 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 17.001 17.002 17.002
3 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 24.714 24.715 7.713
4 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 25.303 25.303 0.589
5 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 26.214 26.214 0.911
6 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 30.398 30.398 4.184
7 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 32.915 32.916 2.518
8 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 33.839 33.840 0.924
9 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 38.927 38.927 5.088
10 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 38.948 38.948 0.021
11 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 47.501 47.502 8.553
12 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 48.165 48.165 0.663
13 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 50.481 50.482 2.317
14 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 54.330 54.330 3.848
15 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 55.684 55.685 1.354
16 34 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 57.694 57.694 2.009
17 19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.159 1'02.160 4.466
18 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.021 1'03.021 0.862
19 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1'03.982 1'03.983 0.961
20 22 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.469 1'06.469 2.487
21 35 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.837 1'07.838 1.368
22 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1'09.221 1'09.221 1.384
23 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'09.588 1'09.588 0.367
24 26 Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 1'19.162 1'19.162 9.574
25 27 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'25.667 1'25.667 6.505
  7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT      
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