Reigning Supercars champion opens new campaign in style
SHANE Van Gisbergen has continued his winning run at the Clipsal 500 this weekend to take out the first race of the Supercars season for Holden.
The podium was set in the first few seconds of the race when reigning series champion Van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and James Courtney headed into turn one three-wide.
Courtney yielded his Holden on the lead but initially was unwilling to settle for third.
However he fell behind Coulthard's Ford, and the three drivers remained in those three positions for the rest of the race.
Van Gisbergen also set a new race lap record on lap 52 with a time of 1:20.9659.
Courtney was the only other driver to set a race lap time under 1 minute 21 seconds.
Will Davison's was the first and only car to succumb to turn eight, on the first lap of the race, in an incident which the stewards will investigate.
He was able to drive back to the pits but took no further part in the race.
The only safety car of the race came out on lap 20 after Tim Slade lost control and drove into the wall at turn six.
He bumped with his Brad Jones Racing teammate Nick Percat as Percat tried to pass him, and Slade came off second best.
He managed to reverse out of the wall and resumed the race.
New Ford recruit Scott McLaughlin's day was done when he received a pit lane penalty for breaching safety car restart rules and he fell to the back of the pack.
Stewards also will investigate an incident between Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom on lap 45, during which Winterbottom spun 180 degrees in front of Whincup's car.
Simona de Silvestro finished in position 20 in her first race as a fulltime driver, ahead of Jason Bright, Todd Kelly, Alex Rullo and Taz Douglas, who spent 15 laps recovering in the pits during the race from heat exhaustion while his cool suit was being fixed.
Dale Wood was the other car that failed to finish, because of mechanical problems.