Shane van Gisbergen wins rain affected finale

Race 38
Photo Credit V8 Supercars Media

 

Shane van Gisbergen has won a washed out finale at the Sydney NRMA 500 to clinch second place in the championship.

Trying conditions early in the race gave way to torrential downpours that saw the race suspended and eventually abandoned with more than 30 laps still to run.

Van Gisbergen forced his way past a struggling Scott McLaughlin early in the race to challenge and pass Garth Tander for the race lead. Despite rocketing out to a commanding the lead the Kiwi then lost the lead to Tander after the second round of pit stops.

Garth Tander looked to have the race in the bag when dismal conditions resulted in the safety car being called out. Unfortunately for the Holden Racing Team driver a mistake before he could even reach the safety car handed the lead and subsequently the race win to van Gisbergen.

The result sees van Gisbergen finish second overall in the championship after a disastrous race of Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes. Winterbottom was forced to the back of the pack at turn one after getting squeezed wide while Lowndes speared down a run-off area soon after.

Holden Racing Team completed a double podium with James Courtney claiming the final step on the podium ahead of the series champion Jamie Whincup. The now six-time champion was denied the chance to take a clean sweep of the weekend’s races due to the red flag.

Chaz Mostert was the leading Falcon in fifth ahead of Tim Slade who took a gamble which resulted in him gaining 10 positions to finish sixth. The Supercheap Auto Commodore was the first to move off wet tyres as the track dried briefly early in the race.

Rick Kelly secured a top ten finish for Nissan Motorsport with a seventh place finish as he fended off pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin. McLaughlin struggled in the first wet stint of the race and the lost further positions after being held up in pit lane.

Jason Bright and Will Davison rounded out the top ten.

Wildcard entry Marcos Ambrose survived his first weekend back in the championship with a sixteenth place finish in the final race.

All eyes were on Jamie Whincup however as the 2014 champion was finally able to lift the trophy for a record sixth time after securing the title at the previous round. The Red Bull Racing driver finished the series nearly 600 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Shane van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom finished a respective second and third in the championship while early points leader Craig Lowndes had to settle for fourth.

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