Pukekohe Supercars: Investigation threatens Holden one-two

Andrew van Leeuwen
Motorsport

The Triple Eight pair took their first one-two finish since last year's Sandown 500, the result underpinned by a flawless performance by van Gisbergen.

However Lap 2 contact between Whincup and Nick Percat is subject to a post-race investigation, leaving a cloud over the result. 

Van Gisbergen had to weather an early storm from fellow front-row starter Cam Waters, the Tickford Ford glued to the back of the Red Bull Holden for the first few laps.

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The sting quickly came out of Waters' challenge, however, van Gisbergen able to build a 2.1s lead before the Safety Car was called to recover an out-of-fuel Mark Winterbottom on Lap 14.

Everyone who had not pitted hit the lane immediately, with the advantage swinging to the likes of Fabian Coulthard, Anton De Pasquale, and Whincup who had made early stops.

Coulthard led the way for the Lap 18 restart, Whincup swiftly passing De Pasquale to slot into second. 

By Lap 24 the Red Bull Holden was in the lead, Whincup pouncing on a mistake by Coulthard at Turn 4.

Whincup did his best to sprint once in front, hoping to make up for a fuel deficit to teammate van Gisbergen from the first round of stops. 

The seven-time champ managed to get 10s clear of van Gisbergen before making his second, much lengthier fuel stop on Lap 37 – including a tyre-torching lock-up at the control line coming into the lane.

Van Gisbergen pitted on Lap 40, emerging just in front of Whincup.

At the very same time the battle for effective third place between Waters and teammate Chaz Mostert turned nasty. After running side-by-side down the back straight, Waters nipped a front-right wheel on his way into the chicane and clattered into Mostert.

The Supercheap-backed Mustang was left with damaged suspension, which would require a stint in the garage that left him 13 laps down.

To add salt to the wound he would later be slapped with a drive-through penalty for speeding in pitlane.

Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, steadily pulled away from Whincup as the second stint wore on. His lead did get to as much as 4s, before coming back to 2.3s in the closing laps.

“I was a bit worried there in the middle, and at the start when we had all those Fords [pushing us],” said the race winner.

“But all the support here just makes you lift. You come here and it’s just an awesome feeling to have so many Kiwi fans.”

Whincup, meanwhile, said there was little he could have done differently during the Percat clash.

“I’ll go and speak to him straight away, but there wasn’t much I could do,” he said.

“I was bottled up, stopped in the middle of the corner and he came back down a lot harder than I expected.”

Will Davison finished third on the road, but a 15s penalty for pitlane speeding dumped him down to ninth.

That was good news for Waters, who inherited the final spot on the podium from his Tickford teammate.

David Reynolds came home fourth, while Scott McLaughlin was fourth, 16s behind the winner.

The Penske Ford driver still holds a formidable 577-point lead in the title race, with van Gisbergen jumping up to second in the standings.

Mostert, meanwhile, was dropped to fourth and now faces a 651-point gap to McLaughlin.

Race results:

 

1

New Zealand
New Zealand

Shane van Gisbergen

Holden Commodore ZB

 

2

Australia
Australia

Jamie Whincup

Holden Commodore ZB

2.3630

3

Australia
Australia

Cameron Waters

Ford Mustang GT

12.6491

4

Australia
Australia

David Reynolds

Holden Commodore ZB

15.4278

5

New Zealand
New Zealand

Scott McLaughlin

Ford Mustang GT

16.0890

6

Australia
Australia

Lee Holdsworth

Ford Mustang GT

16.8914

7

New Zealand
New Zealand

Fabian Coulthard

Ford Mustang GT

21.3831

8

New Zealand
New Zealand

Andre Heimgartner

Nissan Altima

21.9957

9

Australia
Australia

Will Davison

Ford Mustang GT

24.8224

10

New Zealand
New Zealand

Richie Stanaway

Holden Commodore ZB

25.9268

11

Australia
Australia

Tim Slade

Holden Commodore ZB

26.6606

12

Australia
Australia

Nick Percat

Holden Commodore ZB

31.8490

13

Australia
Australia

Scott Pye

Holden Commodore ZB

32.2795

14

Australia
Australia

Todd Hazelwood

Holden Commodore ZB

37.8498

15

Australia
Australia

Anton De Pasquale

Holden Commodore ZB

38.3197

16

Switzerland
Switzerland

Simona de Silvestro

Nissan Altima

38.5860

17

Australia
Australia

James Courtney

Holden Commodore ZB

39.9848

18

Australia
Australia

Garry Jacobson

Nissan Altima

42.1784

19

Australia
Australia

Rick Kelly

Nissan Altima

47.0307

20

Australia
Australia

Macauley Jones

Holden Commodore ZB

57.9018

21

Australia
Australia

Jack Le Brocq

Holden Commodore ZB

1 lap

22

Australia
Australia

Mark Winterbottom

Holden Commodore ZB

5 laps

 

Australia
Australia

James Golding

Holden Commodore ZB

10 laps

 

Australia
Australia

Chaz Mostert

Ford Mustang GT

14 laps

View full results

 

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