Two poles translate into two wins for quick Kiwi, as Mark Fattore reports.
Shane Van Gisbergen’s impeccable front-running form in the MSS Security V8 Supercar Challenge at the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix continued in Friday’s second race.
His tried-and-tested formula for success at Albert Park produced a second consecutive victory from pole position as he fended off early pressure from fellow-Holden Commodore drivers Craig Lowndes and Fabian Coulthard before settling into a pace and rhythm that kept him at the sharp end of the 25-car pack.
The gap back to second-placed Lowndes was 0.55 seconds after the 12 laps, with Coulthard third ahead of Michael Caruso (Nissan Altima) and Scott McLaughlin (Volvo S60) – the latter dropping from second to fifth on lap one after skimming the outfield.
“I expected a tougher fight in race two and I definitely got it,” said the 24-year-old Van Gisbergen.
“Craig (Lowndes) was fast and kept with me the whole way, which was good. However, there are still quite a few things I’d like to change for tomorrow and make the car a little better again.”
Commodore trio Gather Tander, Jamie Whincup and Jason Bright filled positions 6-8, with Whincup penalised five grid spots in race two for a driving in a “careless manner” en route to second place in the opener.
Bright was one of the fastest drivers on the circuit in race two as he picked his way through from 14th on the grid.
At the halfway mark in the MSS Security V8 Supercar Challenge, Van Gisbergen is on a maximum 150 points ahead of Caruso (120), Coulthard (119), Lowndes (117) and Whincup (117).
Race three is at 3:20pm on Saturday.