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Supercars Symmons Plains: Van Gisbergen gives Holden first 2019 win

Shane van Gisbergen became the first Holden driver to win a Supercars race in 2019 with a dominant drive at Symmons Plains

He pulled away from Fabian Coulthard in the third and final stint to break the Ford Mustang's seven-race winning steak, with the final margin back to Coulthard and David Reynolds more than five seconds.

The Red Bull Holden driver led throughout the first stint, however it took a while for him to shake Coulthard.

It was not until the race was 15 laps old that his advantage ticked over to a second, at which point van Gisbergen could pull away more rapidly.

By lap 20 of what would be a 84-lap event, the lead was closer to two seconds, with van Gisbergen then almost three seconds clear by the time Coulthard made his first stop on lap 24.

Coulthard came out behind team-mate Scott McLaughlin, who had pitted 10 laps earlier, but was quickly back into second thanks to his superior tyre condition.

On lap 29, van Gisbergen made his stop, coming back out side-by-side with Coulthard.

The ensuing battle was won by the Penske Mustang driver, as McLaughlin the got involved and tried to wrangle second from van Gisbergen.

The pair staged a brief, spectacular arm wrestle over the position, with van Gisbergen eventually getting his tyres up to temperature and taking back the spot.

The brief distraction worked out perfectly for Coulthard, though, who found himself with a two-second lead.

But with five laps worth of tyre life up his sleeve, van Gisbergen quickly reeled the leader back in. And on lap 43 he dived under Coulthard into Turn 6 to reclaim the lead.

On lap 55 Coulthard, sitting 2.5s behind van Gisbergen, made his second stop.

The leader covered him off next time around, emerging with the same margin he'd had before coming in.

He quickly turned that in an almost five-second lead, helped by Coulthard coming under serious pressure from David Reynolds in third stint as light rain started to fall.

Coulthard managed to weather the Reynolds storm and bank second spot, but had no answer to van Gisbergen, who streaked to a 5.1s margin of victory.

"It's good to get one back," said van Gisbergen. "What an awesome race, Fabian kept getting me out of the pits, and I had a great battle with him and Scotty.

"I took off at the start and he got right back to me and I thought I was in trouble, but he burnt his tyres up.

"Once our tyre life was good I knew I'd be okay and the team did a fantastic job in the pits. We've made a huge step forward with our car."

Points leader McLaughlin came home fourth, while Jamie Whincup recovered well to finish a fine fifth after starting 13th.

Mark Winterbottom ran as high as fourth in the first stint but was ultimately shuffled back to sixth, followed by Nick Percat, Scott Pye, Lee Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert.

McLaughlin now holds a 124-point lead over Coulthard in the standings, with van Gisbergen moving into fourth, six points behind team-mate Whincup and 160 points adrift of the leader.

Results - 84 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 1h14m12.5096s
2 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 5.1877s
3 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 6.8778s
4 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 13.8486s
5 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 16.6394s
6 Mark Winterbottom Schwerkolt Holden 18.1431s
7 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 31.5063s
8 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 34.9667s
9 Lee Holdsworth Tickford Ford 36.1339s
10 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 41.8869s
11 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 44.3320s
12 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 44.6235s
13 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 48.6330s
14 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 51.5293s
15 Rick Kelly Kelly Nissan 1 Lap
16 James Golding GRM Holden 1 Lap
17 Andre Heimgartner Kelly Nissan 1 Lap
18 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Holden 1 Lap
19 Richie Stanaway GRM Holden 1 Lap
20 Macauley Jones Blanchard/BJR Holden 1 Lap
21 Simona de Silvestro Kelly Nissan 1 Lap
22 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 1 Lap
23 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 2 Laps
24 Jack Smith Brad Jones Holden 3 Laps
- Garry Jacobson Kelly Nissan Retirement

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