Gold Coast 600: Van Gisbergen and Premat wins the first race
Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Premat wins the first race of the Castrol Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise Street Circuit. In the final laps, the Kiwi in the #97 Red Bull Australia’s Holden Commodore holds off Scott McLaughlin in the #33 Volvo S60, to score his third win at the famous street circuit, sixth win of the season and 17th V8SC victory of a career.
Earlier today, Van Gisbergen was fastest in the qualifying, securing the best starting position on the narrow and dangerous street tracks. He and Premat defended the lead through the 102-lap 300-km race, overcoming Premat’s early 10sec penalty because of a jump start. The P2 and P3 starters also remained in their positions. McLaughlin’s co-driver in the second-placed Wilson Security-GRM Volvo was David Wall, for whom it was the first ever V8SC podium. Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell finished third in the #88 Red Bull Holden.
Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto (The Bottle-O Racing Team) progressed five places to finish fourth as the best Ford’s crew, ahead of James Moffat and James Golding (Wilson Security Racing-GRM). Twenty-six crews started the race, 21 crossed the finish line.
Few incidents happened during the race. The most controversial was the one on Lap 96 when Garth Tander (Holden Racing Team) pushed Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) into the wall while they were fighting for P5. Coulthard hit the concrete wall with the speed much over 250 km/h but he was luckily unhurt. Tander was penalized with a drive-through penalty and ten places back on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
After 22 championship races, Van Gisbergen remained in the lead for 2016 title, with 160 points ahead of his teammate Jamie Whincup. Craig Lowndes, who finished sixth today, is third in the championship standings, 367 points behind SVG.