Fresh off the back of his championship victory last season, New Zealand’s golden boy of the Supercar series, Shane van Gisbergen, has set the perfect start to the 2017 season after winning both races at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide.
The Clipsal 500 event — which took place March 2–5 — saw the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver qualify as the fastest driver in both sessions, set the fastest time in both top-10 shootouts, and then go on to bank both race wins in a dominant display.
Saturday’s race saw van Gisbergen leading the pack only to be jumped on the opening lap by fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard. Some smart strategy by his Red Bull Holden Racing Team crew meant he was quickly back in front with a third of the race left — seeing him take a 14-second win over Coulthard
Van Gisbergen wasn’t in for an easy ride on Sunday either, after fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin led for the majority of the race until a late mistake allowed van Gisbergen to take his opportunity.
“What a feeling. Awesome weekend … that race was very tough. In the middle there I lost a lot of time battling James [Courtney] and Fabian [Coulthard]. Then we had to run down Scotty [McLaughlin],” said van Gisbergen.
“What an awesome weekend — 300 points, what a way to start the season.”
Unsurprisingly, McLaughlin wasn’t pleased with how he finished, but his speed and fight throughout should give the DJR Team Penske outfit confidence heading into the rest of the season.
“I threw it away ... [but] Shane was fantastic — his car was very fast,” McLaughlin said.
“I just didn't quite have the pace in the last stint.”
Chaz Mostert claimed third, with James Courtney in fourth, and then Kiwi Fabian Coulthard — Courtney escaped penalty from a post-race investigation after spinning Simona di Silvestro as she tried to enter pit lane.
Race two results
1. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden)
2. Scott McLaughlin (Ford)
3. Chaz Mostert (Ford)
4. James Courtney (Holden)
5. Fabian Coulthard (Ford)
6. Jamie Whincup (Holden)
7. Tim Slade (Holden)
8. Cameron Waters (Ford)
9. Todd Kelly (Nissan)
10. Craig Lowndes (Holden)
1. Shane van Gisbergen — 300pts
2=. Fabian Coulthard — 249pts (-51 diff)
2=. James Courtney — 249pts (-51 diff)
4. Chaz Mostert — 213pts (-87 diff)
5. Cameron Waters — 210pts (-90 diff)
6. Jamie Whincup —204pts (-96 diff)
7. Scott McLaughlin — 192pts (-108 diff)
8. Craig Lowndes — 168pts (-132 diff)
9. Rick Kelly — 165pts (-135 diff)
10. Tim Slade — 159pts (-141 diff)