SHANE van Gisbergen has ledfrom pole position to win the Clipsal 500 Adelaide in front of a recordsingle-day crowd for a V8 Supercar race, of 95,000 people.
The Tekno Autosports drivertook the first win for the Queensland-based team in emphatic fashion, despite alate race Safety Car bunching an otherwise strung-out field together for a10-lap dash to the flag.
Tekno Autosports becomes thefirst team other than Triple Eight and Ford Performance Racing to win a V8Supercars points-paying race since November 2011 – when Rick Kelly won atSandown in wet conditions.
Jamie Whincup finished secondand race one winner Craig Lowndes third for Red Bull Racing Australia.
Van Gisbergen took the racelead on the second lap, passing Mark Winterbottom to lead the field.
He dropped to second, behindWhincup, after the opening stops but a superior fuel strategy saw him emergeback in the lead of the race following the second round of stops – a lead hewould never lose.
“It’s been great... It’s beenoverwhelming. I’m stoked to put a good race together,” van Gisbergen said.
“I got off the line alrighttoday, which was awesome. Mark passed me but we were able to get by him.
“It was a tough race, I hadgood speed in the first and second stints, but when I got behind Jamie, thesecars seem to heat up a lot and my pace stopped.
“My pace stopped for a momentand then got going again. I knew our last stop would be shorter so we got agap, and then managed it. They were a fair way behind us, and then jumped us,so they must have short filled early. We didn’t have to save fuel – we wereflat out the whole way.
“Jamie was pretty speedy atthe end, but we had enough.”
Lowndes assumes the lead inthe V8 Supercars championship following his first and third-placed effortsacross this weekend’s two races.
A pair of solid podiumfinishes has defending champion Whincup second in the, the #1 Red Bull-backeddriver much happier with his performance today.
“Our car was much bettertoday, we found quite a big issue last night and now I’m back on par with the otherguys and can race it out,” he said.
“It hurts that a Kiwi has wonthe first round! The pace was pretty hot and we were flat-stick the whole way.It’s good to not be on fuel conserve mode, we were flat out from woah to go.
“We had a little less fuel soI had to be five seconds up the road to keep the lead in the first stint.”
Russell Ingall scored afighting fourth place finish, with Mark Winterbottom fifth and ahead of WillDavison - slow pit stops hurting both FPR cars throughout today's race.
Davison also battled gearboxissues in the second half of today’s race but preserved to score a solid pointsfinish inside the top-10.
James Courtney, TonyD'Alberto, Scott McLaughlin and Jonathon Webb completed the top 10.
The race’s only Safety Car interruptioncame with 15 laps remaining, Alex Davison crashing at turn eight afterovershooting when passing Scott Pye on the run into the corner.
Davison’s Jeld-Wen Racing carslid across the circuit and into the inside wall, bringing out the caution forthe first time in two days of racing.
On the resumption of racing abattle for second erupted, Lowndes squeezing past Whincup at turn six to takepoint, before Russell Ingall then passing both of them to leapfrog the pair ofBlue Holden’s and jump to second.
Lowndes then attempted tore-pass Ingall at turn nine but overshot - allowing Whincup to work his waypast into second where he would ultimately finish the race.
There was further damage atthe end of the first lap back under green-flag conditions, Jason Bright turningRick Kelly around at the final corner – the second Jack Daniel’s Nissan of ToddKelly left with nowhere to go and left badly damaged and out of the race.
James Moffat was the top Nissanfinisher, in 13th and on the lead lap, Lee Holdsworth 17thand the last classified finisher and a lap back from the winner.
Unlike yesterday's race,today was a far more bruising affair with just 17 of the 28 starters finishing.
A record 95,000 peopleattended today's event, taking the four-day total to more than 285,000.