Holden wins wild Townsville tussle

Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Shane van Gisbergen has won Race 18 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Watpac Townsville 400.

With a shower falling on the opening lap of the race, the rain got heavier in what was an action packed 200km tussle on the streets of Townsville where van Gisbergen, the master in the wet, prevailed.

“This is fantastic timing and thanks to Holden and Red Bull for sticking with us and all our fans too, it’s been a tough year for us but we’re getting better and that one wasn’t me, that was Shippy (Engineer) and the team for sure,” said van Gisbergen.

“That was a real team victory and I knew I had to keep it under control and yeah it’s really good to be up here again (on top of the podium).

The next best placed Holden driver was the #99 Penrite Holden of Anton de Pasquale who drove superbly to fourth after his team elected to be the first to change to wet tyres in the early part of the race.

The move saw the youngster lead more laps than anyone in the race, with only a lack of fuel spoiling the party late in the game, with de Pasquale forced to pit the lead and was relegated to one spot off the podium.

Also finishing their Townsville campaigns inside the top-10 were both Boost Mobile Racing drivers James Golding and fill-in driver Michael Caruso (for the injured Richie Stanaway) who finished seventh and ninth respectively.

The double top-10 finish by the Garry Rogers Motorsport-run team is the best result for the Holden squad in 2019.

Earlier in the day Matt Stone Racing driver Todd Hazelwood showed amazing qualifying speed with a career best fourth place qualifying result behind the wheel of his Holden.

Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Jamie Whincup had a day to forget, running wide onto a painted curb which spun his Holden into the wall and out of the race, mid way through.

“I just got a bit too much curb and when you’re out there in this rain, you’re a passenger.

“It was a great race though and this rain really caught everyone by surprise which translated into some exciting racing.

“I’m wrapped for SVG and the team, he did such and amazing job to win today and to go home with a win is a real boost to the team heading into the next round.”

The Brad Jones Racing squad also had a wild day at the office with a fuel hose failure in pitlane causing a huge fuel fire outside their garage.

Thankfully, teams and fire crews were exceptionally quick to come to the aid of the team and the Elite Roads Holden driver. Amazingly the crew were able to then get the Commodore back out on track and classified in 19th overall.

Saturday at the Watpac Townsville 400 was a positive one for the Holden Motorsport tribe with Whincup picking up second place in the 200km feature race, while David Reynolds took out Pole earlier in the day behind the wheel of his Penrite Racing Holden.

The next round of the Supercars Championship takes crews Queensland Raceway for the Ipswich SuperSprint, July 26-28.

Results: Race 18, Watpac Townsville 400

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 64 1:37:33.2943
2 333 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 64 1:37:34.0784
3 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 64 1:37:34.7384
4 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 64 1:37:35.3391
5 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 64 1:37:36.1045
6 100 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 64 1:37:37.5623
7 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 64 1:37:37.9763
8 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 64 1:37:38.6355
9 33 Boost Mobile Racing Michael Caruso Holden Commodore ZB 64 1:37:40.5281
10 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 64 1:37:42.7599
11 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 64 1:37:43.5359
12 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 64 1:37:57.5545
13 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:37:36.7124
14 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:37:40.3534
15 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 63 1:37:41.7466
16 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:37:44.7925
17 35 Unit Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:37:47.1332
18 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:37:49.9174
19 8 Elite Roads Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 63 1:38:08.6979
20 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 60 1:37:46.0743
21 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 51 1:37:49.3180
DNF 3 RABBLE.club Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 59 1:28:18.0750
DNF 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 47 1:37:51.3585
DNF 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 18 24:21.7870