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Andrew van Leeuwen

Supercars The Bend: Van Gisbergen cruises to victory

It was the lead Tickford cars that got the best of the start, shock polesitter Zak Best holding onto the lead as Cam Waters snuck under van Gisbergen at Turn 1.

Best then settled into what looked to be a comfortable one-second lead ahead of his teammate.

Initially the greatest threat to his lead came from race control which reviewed a suspected jump start before deciding against any further action.

As Best continued to lead across the first stint there was a change of position behind on lap seven when van Gisbergen dived inside Waters at Turn 1 to claim second.

He then turned the heat onto Best, eventually getting through to the lead at Turn 3 on lap 11.

Waters took his mandatory service right before the lead changed hands, resuming behind an early-stopping Will Davison.

Best followed suit on lap 12 and resumed behind Waters, while van Gisbergen trucked on with an overcut strategy.

Chaz Mostert brought himself into the game with a reasonably long first stint, a lap 15 stop bringing him out between Waters and Best.

A lockup and trip across the gravel for Waters at Turn 1 on lap 17 then helped Mostert close up on Waters before he charged into third place.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering (Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics)

Van Gisbergen waited until lap 20 to take his service, the Kiwi resuming in a comfortable lead over Davison and Mostert.

From there he could just manage the gap back to the field as he cruised to victory.

"The car was magic," said van Gisbergen. "I've been struggling with my driving but the car has been really good. Just hard to drive, but racing under the limit it was fine.

"I had a great battle at the start with Cam and Zak, he was driving really well as well. But it cost us some time so we had to run long to get some clear air. It was an awesome day."

Van Gisbergen now leads by 323 points which means he has more than a round up his sleeve.

Davison did well in the second stint to nurse tyres that had been on the car since lap 5 to second place.

He was followed home by Mostert and the two Tickford drivers Waters and Best.

Brodie Kostecki finished sixth ahead off Broc Feeney and David Reynolds, while Anton De Pasquale dropped back to ninth.

Andre Heimgartner recovered from his slightly underwhelming qualifying effort by moving up to 10th in the race.

The Bend SuperSprint continued with two more races tomorrow.

The Bend SuperSprint Race 1 results

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB      
2 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 2.2227    
3 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 4.0888    
4 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 10.4553    
5 78 Zak Best Holden Commodore ZB 10.8632    
6 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 11.4282    
7 88 Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 11.7643    
8 26 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 13.2936    
9 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 13.7233    
10 8 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 14.4812    
11 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 17.1168    
12 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 18.1578    
13 2 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 20.1370    
14 5 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 20.7408    
15 10 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 21.0182    
16 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 24.7133    
17 14 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 25.0493    
18 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 25.1013    
19 31 Australia James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 25.8861    
20 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 31.3037    
21 34 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 32.2222    
22 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 32.2805    
23 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 33.0330    
24 22 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 35.1432    
25 49 Jordan Boys Holden Commodore ZB 35.4297    
26 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 38.7309    
27 56 Australia Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1'05.3206    
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