Van Gisbergen Triumphs In Chaotic Townsville Supercars
Like a phoenix, Van Gisbergen emerged from literal rain and fire to victory
The scene was almost like out of a movie when Shane Van Gisbergen overcame all of the weather and technical challenges to become the winner of the Townsville 500 in a chaotic competition that left many of the racers rattled.
The race was a gamble for many including early leading man, Cameron Waters’ whose fuel strategy failed at the last minute. In a converse twist of luck, Van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s almost game-like strategy hit the bull’s eye and sealed a well-deserved victory for the team.
The heavy rain threw a major wrench in the plan of many racers including Saturday winner and season leader; Scott McLaughlin, David Reynolds, and van Gisbergen’s Holden teammate, Jamie Whincup. Turning a third position into second, van Gisbergen was followed by Fabian Coutlhard in his DJR Team Penske Mustang, and the third position was claimed by former leader, Cameron Waters’ Mustang.
A fire accident to Nick Percat’s Commodore during a fuel stop put a stop to the race under Safety Car conditions, leaving a lot of stars out of podium contention. One of such racers was Saturday winner, Scott McLaughlin who finished in 11th place, his worst finish for the year. Later in his speech, van Gisbergen showed his gratitude to his team when he said “that one wasn’t me, that was the boys there.”
It has been a truly marvellous season for van Gisbergen and his team as the New Zealander continues to secure unexpected victories ahead of competition favourites Scott McLaughlin and his (McLaughlin’s) teammate, Fabian Coutlhard. The Team Ford Mustang racers have been neck-and-neck all season, driving other racers to pits and serving as each other’s rivals. Van Gisbergen, however, is not to be counted out yet.
McLaughlin currently holds the lead with comfortable commanding points, having won 13 out of 18 races held so far in the season. He is closely followed by teammate, Fabian Coutlhard, who has proven to be much of a challenge to the leading man.
With his win in Townsville, Van Gisbergen continued to cement his position for the championship podium contention for the season and improved his ranking in the system after closing the gap between himself and McLaughlin.
It is also worthy of note that this has been an amazing season for the Ford Mustang model which just made its debut. The supercar model has won 16 out of 18 races thus far in the season, with only outliers like van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore breaking through the ranks.