Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander have won the 63rd Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 after two late safety car periods set up a thrilling end to the great race.
Having led the field for a majority of the race after starting on the third row, van Gisbergen and Tander produced a brilliant performance to take out the win over pole sitters Cameron Waters and Will Davison, while Chaz Mostert and Warren Luff rounded out the podium.
The Kiwi’s maiden Bathurst win was certainly far from easy with a combination of multiple safety car interventions and Waters constant pressure in the final 20 laps contributing to the intense finale.
However van Gisbergen was able to stay composed on the final restart, which occurred with just three laps remaining as he led the field and comfortably crossed the chequered flag in first place.
It was a long time coming for the 2019 Supercars runner-up, who had previously come incredibly close on multiple occasions but could never seal the deal.
“It’s just awesome,” Van Gisbergen said post-race.
“The last few laps were really tough with the Safety Cars but the team did a faultless job and the car got better all weekend, so thanks to my guys.
“We had a great car and it’s a great way to send out Holden. Thanks to Garth, he did an awesome job. I just wish my Mum and Dad were here.”
Speaking on the dramatic finish after the final safety car period, van Gisbergen revealed how calm he was during the final three laps.
“I knew as long as I got through Turn 2 I would be fine,” van Gisbergen added.
“Each time he got pretty close but got through Turn 2 with good grip so I knew I would be ok. Those last three stints were just qualifying laps, so just awesome.
“It was a real track position race, super hard to pass and when that rain came I was a bit slow at the start but then got going.
“That got us to the front and we never left it. Awesome day.”
Finishing just off the podium were both DJR Team Penske entries with Fabian Coulthard securing fourth place for him and co-driver Tony D’Alberto ahead of 2020 Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin and new teammate Tim Slade.
It was also a day for further celebration for Championship winner McLaughlin who was celebrated as the official 2020 Australian Touring Car Champion at the end of the race alongside the Bathurst race winners.
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will most likely be McLaughlin’s final race in Supercars with the three-time champion to head to Indycar in 2021.
Waters and van Gisbergen both leapfrogged Jamie Whincup in the outright Championship standings, finishing the year in second and third respectively after Whincup crashed during the opening stages of the race and was the first to retire.
As a result of Whincup's retirement, Shell V-Power Racing ultimately took out the Teams' Championship over Red Bull Racing Holden, while Tickford Racing finished third on the standings.
Tander and van Gisbergen’s victory also marked a fitting end to Holden's official manufacturer support of Supercars after many memorable years at the top of Australian motorsport.
The 2021 Supercars Championship calendar will be released in the coming weeks.
1. #97 Holden Commodore ZB - Shane van Gisbergen + Garth Tander
2. #6 Ford Mustang - Cameron Waters + Will Davison
3. #25 Holden Commodore ZB - Chaz Mostert + Warren Luff
4. #12 Ford Mustang - Fabian Coulthard + Tony D’Alberto
5. #17 Ford Mustang - Scott McLaughlin + Tim Slade
6. #20 Holden Commodore ZB - Scott Pye + Dean Fiore
7. #5 Ford Mustang - Lee Holdsworth + Michael Caruso
8. #18 Holden Commodore ZB - Mark Winterbottom + James Golding
9. #99 Holden Commodore ZB - Anton De Pasquale + Brodie Kostecki
10. #44 Ford Mustang – James Courtney + Broc Feeney
11. #7 Ford Mustang - Andre Heimgartner + Dylan O'Keeffe
12. #19 Holden Commodore ZB – Alex Davison + Jonathon Webb
13. #3 Holden Commodore ZB - Macauley Jones + Tim Blanchard
14. #55 Ford Mustang - Jack Le Brocq + James Moffat
15. #9 Holden Commodore ZB - David Reynolds + Will Brown
16. #22 Holden Commodore ZB - Chris Pither + Steve Owen
17. #15 Ford Mustang - Rick Kelly + Dale Wood
18. #8 Holden Commodore ZB - Nick Percat + Thomas Randle
19. #40 Holden Commodore ZB - Tyler Everingham + Jayden Ojeda
20. #34 Holden Commodore ZB – Jake Kostecki + Zane Goddard
21. #4 Holden Commodore ZB - Jack Smith + Jack Perkins
22. #2 Holden Commodore ZB - Bryce Fullwood + Kurt Kostecki
23. #35 Holden Commodore ZB - Garry Jacobson + David Russell
24. #14 Holden Commodore ZB - Todd Hazelwood + Jordan Boys
25. #88 Holden Commodore ZB - Jamie Whincup + Craig Lowndes