Van Gisbergen dominates in the wet

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Treacherous conditions meant a chaotic first race at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 this afternoon.

The trouble started before the race -David Reynolds and Chaz Mostert, who tried to complete the formation lap on slick Dunlop tyres, ran off the road simultaneously at turn six, having to be retrieved to line up on the grid.

Shane van Gisbergen - a superstar in the wet -pounced from sixith off the start, while drama unfolded in the pack on the first lap.

An incident between Reynolds and James Moffat is to be investigated, Tim Slade also getting caught in the chaos and launching into the air after ploughing into The Bottle-O Falcon.

Van Gisbergen knocked off each of the front runners, showing why he's renowed as a wet weather racer.

"The car was awesome the whole race... it made my job easy," van Gisbergen said.

Garth Tander, who started 14th, also carved through the field, as some of the front runners fell away- Jamie Whincup dropped back to finish fourth after starting on ARMOR ALL Pole Position, and a late engine drama for Scott McLaughlin has put his Volvo in doubt for this afternoon's second race.

Pulling to the side with a handful of laps to go, McLaughlin triggered a safety car, closing up van Gisbergen's lead. But he was straight back on the pace and didn't falter on the way to the line.

Whilehis teammate James Courtney declared the Holden Racing Team is back, it was Tander who backed that up today.

"Car was mega in the wet, fantstic," the #2 driversaid. "Only thing was, the wiper stopped working after first few laps... We're class B because when it rains Gizzy is in a league of his own."

Craig Lowndes made it home in third, a good result for his Championship. But the Red Bull racer will start from 22nd for this afternoon's second race, meaning there is a lot of work to do.

"We've got a good race result this one, next one we start a bit further back," Lowndes.

"I buggered up qualifying, my mistake... We'll see what we can do this afternoon, look into the sky and we'll see what happens."

Another tough Championship story is that of Mark Winterbottom -clawing his way up to 15 after having to stop for fresh wet tyres during that race. He's now 41 points behind Whincup, whereas the gap had only been 15 this morning.

Nissan's Michael Caruso rounded out the top five, with Rick Kelly, Erebus' Will Davison, Courtney, Jason Bright and Scott Pye completing the top 10.

Click here for full results.

Fabian Coulthard and Todd Kelly also failed to finish the race after contact - van Gisbergen has jumped to fifth in the points ahead of Coulthard after the win.

The next race begins at 4.30pm, leaving the teams little time to debrief and get back on track.

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