Shane van Gisbergen has cruised to his ninth victory of the Supercars season, with a decisive pit strategy seeing him leapfrog teammate Jamie Whincup late in the Townsville 500.

After losing the lead at the start, it took van Gisbergen 70 laps to take back his throne and power to a clinical race 15 victory at the Supercars championship on Saturday.

Red Bull’s pit strategy paid dividends for van Gisbergen after his second stop on lap 64 saw him re-enter the field with fresher tyres to hunt down Whincup, who had a 3.8-second lead.

After securing a lockout in qualifying at the front of the grid, the first race of the Townsville 500 was dominated by Red Bull with both drivers all but competing with each other for bragging rights.

In the 250km, 88-lap race, it was Whincup who arguably had the best jump off the grid behind Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds.

Flying off the blocks, Whincup snuck past a jittery van Gisbergen through turn two but a decision to pit earlier cost the 12-time winner in Townsville, as his re-entry into the Reid Park circuit put him behind mid-field traffic.

This allowed van Gisbergen to gather enough time before his final pit stop, and use his fresh tyres to easily pass Whincup with 17 laps remaining.

Whincup finished second and Red Bull Ampol Racing would be proud of their seamless pit-stop strategy that saw the pair 30 seconds clear of the rest of the pack.

Anton De Pasquale finished third for Shell V-Power Racing, with Nick Percat and David Reynolds fourth and fifth respectively.

V8 SUPERCARS RACE 15 RESULTS:

1. Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Ampol Racing)

2. Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Ampol Racing) +7.4

3. Anton De Pasquale (Shell V-Power Racing) +30.2

4. Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) +9.7

5. David Reynolds (Penrite Racing) +51.3.

Red Bull lock up Townsville 500 front row
Source:
Source 1

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