It was Heimgartner and Kelly Grove Racing which combined to dominate a sodden Saturday, while De Pasquale and the Shell V-Power Racing Team threatened to swallow the field whole on Sunday.
If not for De Pasquale’s Race 11 engine misfire, Waters would have been consigned to another missed opportunity; instead, he made it count, and remained adamant van Gisbergen and Red Bull Ampol Racing aren’t unbeatable.
SVG’s championship bid takes shape
From there, though, lies Waters and co’s greatest challenge: overhauling the margin to van Gisbergen.
The New Zealander’s Saturday was near-perfect; Heimgartner hit the front in practice, was untouchable in wet qualifying, and had the mettle to maximise his NED Whisky Mustang in mixed conditions in the race.
The only blip was the contact with Jamie Whincup in the lane, which cost him a five-second penalty; even then, he had more than enough back to Chaz Mostert to cruise to victory.
Regardless, a win’s a win; but the challenge remains for Kelly Grove Racing to carry it to Winton and beyond, having seen Heimgartner tread water in Tasmania.
As SVG bolts, a chasing pack emerges
Van Gisbergen’s 190-point lead makes for bad reading for his challengers; teammate Whincup was nowhere all weekend, while the likes of Mostert, Waters, De Pasquale and Davison all had their moments of frustration.
If not for a poor Sandown weekend, Davison would likely be on van Gisbergen’s tail, having scored podiums at three of four events.
Davison’s five podiums are only better by van Gisbergen’s eight; only van Gisbergen has clinched trophies at all four events.
Whincup, Mostert, Davison and Waters have all clinched podiums at three events. Along with De Pasquale, they seem the runaway frontrunners.