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Andrew van Leeuwen

Winton Supercars: Waters holds on in thrilling opener

Waters won out at the start, a smart launch from the outside of the front row helping him clear van Gisbergen on the run to Turn 1.

Will Brown actually got the best start of anyone from fourth on the grid and even managed to briefly sneak past van Gisbergen at the first corner.

It was short-lived, though, Brown sliding on the exit of Turn 2, which allowed van Gisbergen to get down the inside into Turn 3.

The top three then ran in formation across the first stint, Waters leading by roughly six-tenths ahead of van Gisbergen and Brown.

On Lap 13 Brown kicked off the stops for the leaders, his hopes of a podium disappearing as he was dropped without his left-rear wheel properly fitted to the car.

That dumped the Erebus driver to the back of the field.

A lap later van Gisbergen made his stop in a bid to undercut Waters, Tickford responding by pitting the Monster Mustang on the very next lap.

The response worked well, Waters popping out just ahead of van Gisbergen before staving off half a lap's worth of intense pressure from the Kiwi.

Waters wasn't able to shake van Gisbergen entirely during the second stint, the Kiwi piling on the pressure in the closing laps.

But track position proved critical as Waters hung on to win ahead of van Gisbergen by just four tenths.

Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, crossed the finish line with a broken front-left wheel thanks to contact with Waters at the last corner.

"It was an awesome race," said Waters. "I got the start and knew I just had to look after the tyres and get it done.

"I knew [van Gisbergen] was probably a little bit quicker so I had to have something in the tank for the end. I knew he would have a crack. It's awesome to come out on top."

Van Gisbergen added: "The battle with Cam was awesome. He's a really good racer, he knows where to place the car. I love that kind of stuff."

David Reynolds made solid gains from seventh on the grid to finish third, just three seconds behind the race winner. That was despite being told to conserve fuel in the closing stages of the race.

The key for the Grove Racing driver was running a long first stint, he and teammate Lee Holdsworth not making their stops until Lap 24 and 25 respectively.

Reynolds then popped out fourth before clearing Chaz Mostert for third.

Holdsworth made a late pass on Scott Pye to finish fifth while Brodie Kostecki ended up the best of the Erebus cars in seventh.

Anton De Pasquale led the way for Dick Johnson Racing down in eighth ahead of Andre Heimgartner and Broc Feeney.

The best of the wildcards was Jayden Ojeda down in 17th while Jordan Boys was 25th in the other additional entry in the field.

Van Gisbergen leads the Supercars standings by a healthy 196 points over De Pasquale.

The Winton SuperSprint continues with two back-to-back qualifying sessions starting at 9:40am tomorrow.

Winton SuperSprint Race 1 results

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT -    
2 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 0.400 0.400 0.400
3 26 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 3.032 3.033 2.633
4 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 11.346 11.347 8.314
5 10 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 15.929 15.930 4.583
6 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 18.076 18.076 2.147
7 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 20.711 20.712 2.635
8 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 22.791 22.791 2.080
9 8 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 22.942 22.943 0.152
10 88 Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 25.533 25.534 2.591
11 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 25.899 25.899 0.366
12 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 33.200 33.201 7.302
13 5 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 34.175 34.175 0.974
14 2 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 44.929 44.930 10.755
15 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 45.128 45.129 0.199
16 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 46.528 46.529 1.400
17 27 Jayden Ojeda Holden Commodore ZB 48.579 48.580 2.051
18 34 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 49.316 49.317 0.737
19 76 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 51.102 51.102 1.785
20 14 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 51.499 51.499 0.397
21 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 52.347 52.348 0.849
22 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 55.905 55.906 3.558
23 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 56.252 56.252 0.346
24 56 Australia Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 56.653 56.654 0.402
25 49 Jordan Boys Holden Commodore ZB 57.204 57.204 0.551
26 22 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1'16.936 1'16.936 19.732
27 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1'29.877 1'29.877 12.941
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