Bathurst 1000 2020: Shane van Gisbergen hands Holden a fairytale ending.
“The last few laps were really tough with the safety cars but the team did a really good job. The car got better all weekend so thanks to the guys. It is a great way to send out Holden.”
It was a win that was 14-years in the making.
Bursting onto the scene as the next big thing in 2007, van Gisbergen had – until yesterday – only tasted defeat in a history of failure that saw him dubbed the Bathurst bridesmaid.
Shattered when a failed starter motor robbed him of a win in 2014 and left despondent in 2016 when he came second in the closest competitive finish, van Gisbergen, 31, was also beaten last year by a car that was fined $250,000 for being a cheat.
But van Gisbergen now has his Mount Panorama crown after fighting off Ford to become a Bathurst king.
“I’m stoked to have finally won this race,” van Gisbergen said.
“I have been close a few times and it has been a long time but it doesn’t owe me anything."
Strapping down with Garth Tander in a near perfect pairing, van Gisbergen was put into a frantic final fight when two safety cars were called in the last ten laps.
Van Gisbergen was faultless as he floored Waters in a toe-to-toe three lap fight following the final restart
“I knew as long as I got through turn two I would be okay,” van Gisbergen said.
“Each time he got pretty close but I got through with good grip and ended up okay. It was just qualifying for three laps which was just awesome.”
Van Gisbergen set up the win with a wet-weather driving masterclass after his all-conquering teammate Jamie Whincup was claimed in the first of just three crashes.
“It was a real track position race because it was so hard to pass,” van Gisbergen said.
“I was a bit slow at the start when that rain came but I got going. It was the wet that set us up. That got us to the front and we never left so it was an awesome day.”
Shane van Gisbergen (R) broke his Bathurst hoodoo.
Extending the legend of Triple Eight Race Engineering with the all-conquering team claiming it’s eight Bathurst crown, Garth Tander also wrote his way into the record books by equalling Jamie Whincup and Allan Moffat with four Mount Panorama wins.
Tander was flawless as he co-drove van Gisbergen to glory.
“It was an awesome job by Shane and the way he managed those last three stints was amazing,” van Gisbergen said.
“He is really impressive so thanks to him and the team. We were given a flawless car and it was so good. I have never had a car that good around here in the race. I am really happy with this one. It is weird to be the co-driver but I will take it.”
The win will be remembered as Holden’s last with the manufacturer officially out of the sport even though the Commodore will continue to race next year.
Waters claimed second following a brilliant drive while Chaz Mostert scored another Bathurst podium by finishing third.
BATHURST 2020 FINISHING ORDER
1ST Van Gisbergen/Tander 6:10:56.1143
2ND Waters/W Davison +0.866 secs
3RD Mostert/Luff +1.609
4th Coulthard/D’Alberto +2.162
5th McLaughlin/Slade +2.711
6th Pye/Fiore +3.969
7th Holdsworth/Caruso +4.734
8th Winterbottom/Golding +6.138
9th De Pasquale/B. Kostecki +7.645
10th Courtney/Feeney +7.716
11th Heimgartner/O’Keeffe +8.090
12th A Davison/Webb +9.144
13th M Jones/Blachard +9.458
14th Le Brocq/Moffat +11.471
15th Reynolds/Brown 1 lap
16th Pither/Owen 2 laps
17th Kelly/Wood 17 laps
18th Percat/Randle 28 laps
19th Everingham/Ojeda 40 laps
20th J Kostecki/Goddard +0.000
NC K Fullwood/K Kostecki
NC Jacobson/D Russell