SVG squares it up in NZ
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
It’s one apiece at Red Bull Racing Australia, with Shane van Gisbergen striking in race two at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint to equal teammate Jamie Whincup today.
It was a battle at the start with Whincup giving it all to get ahead of his teammate. His start wasn’t as good and while he did creep in front of the #97 on the second lap, strong on cold tyres, van Gisbergen took control of P1 and raced out front to generate a 2.18sec lead.
It is his seventh win for the season, puts his Championship back to a 148-point lead and places he and Whincup even in the fight for the prestigious Jason Richards Memorial Trophy awarded for the top point-scorer at the end of this weekend’s event.
“What an awesome race, that battle at the start really cool. Needed to get a better start, we went into turn 1 side by side,” van Gisbergen said.
“There’s a big trophy up for grabs tomorrow, that’s the goal.”
After taking the lead off the line in race one, Whincup wasn’t able to replicate the performance this time around.
“The start was critical, I got good start, Shane got a better one,” Whincup said.
“He was pretty ballsy through the second last corner, so I thought, ‘I’ll raise you on the last’.
"The car was really good, a fantastic 1-2 performance.”
It was a much cleaner start than the earlier race, with Chaz Mostert also getting a good jump from third position.
Fabian Coulthard and Mark Winterbottom rounded out the top five, with David Reynolds making an appearance in eighth and Garth Tander pushing up to 10th.
Fan favourite Craig Lowndes was 15th – after a tough qualifying and had lively battles as he made his way through the pack.
Jason Bright did not start the race after the day’s early crash, seeing his Team BOC Commodore punted off track and stuck in the wall at pit lane entry.
Two more 10-minute qualifying sessions and 100km races conclude the ITM Auckland SuperSprint tomorrow.