Shane van Gisbergen has bounced back from a controversial podium strip over the weekend to take victory ahead of Andre Heimgartner in Supercars Race 19 in Sydney.
Both drivers would pull away from the start to put a gap on the field, with van Gisbergen taking the lead on Lap 4 and running away with the race. Anton de Pasquale managed a final lap move on Broc Feeney to take third, while Bryce Fullwood rounded out the top five.
Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert made ground over the final laps for sixth and seventh, respectively, leaving championship leader Brodie Kostecki languishing in eighth.
Heimgartner overcame his startline blues from yesterday’s event to pull clear off the line and lead over pole-sitter van Gisbergen into Turn 1. Feeney would hold third over Fullwood and Kostecki.
Four-wide into Turn 1 would never work in the mid-pack, and David Reynolds and Will Brown lost out, running off into the sand as Mark Winterbottom and Anton de Pasquale ran the inside lines. Both would rejoin, albeit at the back of the pack.
Van Gisbergen and Heimgartner would continue to build their gap over the field, with the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver taking the lead at Turn 6 on Lap 4. Heimgartner was exposed to Feeney, who briefly reduced the gap but then dropped back.
By Lap 10, van Gisbergen had built a 1.5-second gap over his compatriot, while Kostecki had worked to fourth and began pressuring Feeney. Fullwood was fifth, Waters sixth, Winterbottom seventh and de Pasquale eighth at this time.
In just five laps, the lead would double as the first drivers came in for their compulsory stop. The first to jump was Feeney, who had Kostecki hot on his tail, and de Pasquale, who had worked past Waters on the lap prior.
Brown had begun working forward after his Lap 1 incident and had lodged himself in the mid-field. However, a slow pitstop saw him lose ground, but several other drivers would suffer the same fate, including Declan Fraser and Cameron Hill.
At the mid-point, the gap to the front had extended to 5 seconds, while Heimgartner was in turn 3 seconds clear of Kostecki, who was third.
Kostecki would make his stop on Lap 18, while Heimgartner made his on Lap 20. Van Gisbergen covered, now with a 7-second lead, and returned from the lane with no positional drop.
Heimgartner had, however, lost out to the early-stopping Feeney and de Pasquale, respectively. He would pass both over the following laps on fresher rubber, falling into third behind van Gisbergen with Davison in the lead, having not made his stop.
Once Davison came in as the last stopper on Lap 24, the actual order was revealed, and van Gisbergen held a four-second lead over Heimgartner, who had pulled a three-second gap on Feeney.
De Pasquale maintained fourth with a gap over Fullwood, while Kostecki lost ground following his stop and was sixth with seven laps to run. Winterbottom, Waters, Mostert and Le Brocq rounded out the top 10 at this point, with Mostert having made up seven places from his starting grid of 16th. Nick Percat was another big gainer and had moved from 25th to 16th.
Waters and Mostert passed Winterbottom on Lap 32 and began hunting down Kostecki, with the former taking his position on Lap 33 and the latter the next lap.
Feeney would also come under pressure from de Pasquale over the final three laps. The Mustang would take the podium off the Camaro on the last circuit.
The two leaders had pulled well clear by this point, with van Gisbergen taking the win by 5.23 seconds over Heimgartner, who was 10 seconds ahead of third-place de Pasquale.
Matt Payne would finish 23rd. Jack Smith set the fastest lap of the race.