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Supercars Symmons Plains: Van Gisbergen charges to opening heat victory

Shane van Gisbergen muscled his way to victory from fifth on the grid in the opening heat of the Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains.

Race winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Race winner Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Edge Photographics

It was a race won on a combination of outright car speed and aggressive driving from the Kiwi, who made up all four spots on track.

His first job was to find a way through teammate Broc Feeney, which he did at the first corner complex at the start of the second lap.

Van Gisbergen then pulled the same move on Brodie Kostecki on lap 6 to move into third place.

It took just two more laps for van Gisbergen to close up on second-placed Will Davison, the Kiwi firing a warning shot into Davison's back door on lap 8. 

He kept the pressure on until lap 12 when he was able to get next to Davison in the hairpin and then out-drag him down to Turn 6.

Leader Cam Waters was next, van Gisbergen pulling a similar move a handful of laps later as he fired down the inside at the hairpin. 

The pair made contact on the exit, Waters showing his lack of appreciation by flipping van Gisbergen the bird and then running him to the edge of the road through Turn 5 and into Turn 6.

But Waters' frustration did little to deter van Gisbergen, who held his nerve and completed his charge to the front of the field.

The top three then pitted on consecutive laps, Davison first followed by Waters and van Gisbergen.

Davison did manage to jump Waters in the process, but van Gisbergen had the pace to cover them both as he retained the lead.

From there it was easy going for van Gisbergen who managed to gap back to Davison and recorded a 2.8s victory.

"I didn't know if I was going to be able to pass them," said van Gisbergen. "What a great race. I had to rub them up a bit but that's what we're here to do. Hopefully it was a good show for everyone. 

"We did this last year and then fell back on the Sunday, so we need to be better tomorrow. I'm focussed on that."

Waters finished a lonely third followed by Kostecki and Feeney.

Anton De Pasquale made good progress from 12th on the grid to finish sixth while Scott Pye was forced to hold off a fast-finishing Andre Heimgartner right up until the flag for seventh.

Lee Holdsworth finished ninth as Todd Hazelwood rounded out the best 10.

It was a miserable finish to the day for Chaz Mostert who went into the race as the series leader. 

After a poor qualifying effort, the Walkinshaw Andretti United had worked his way into the Top 10 late in the race – only to arrive at the exit of the hairpin to David Reynolds facing the wrong way after being hit by Mark Winterbottom. 

After tagging a slowed up Winterbottom, Mostert had to pit to fix the damage to his Holden and was ultimately classified 23rd.

That not only cost him the points lead but dropped him to fifth in the standings, 49 points behind new leader van Gisbergen.

Tasmania Supercars - Race 1 results:

Cla Driver Car Gap
1 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB  
2 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT  
3 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT  
4 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB  
5 Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB  
6 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT  
7 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB  
8 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB  
9 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT  
10 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB  
11 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT  
12 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT  
13 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB  
14 Australia Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT  
15 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB  
16 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB  
17 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB  
18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB  
19 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB  
20 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB  
21 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT  
22 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT  
23 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB  
24 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB  
  Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB  

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