SVG wins again in Townsville

Saturday 09 July, 2022
Photos: Edge Photographics
Shane van Gisbergen has continued his love affair with Townsville after winning the opening race of the NTI Townsville 500.
 
The current Repco Supercars Championship leader did no harm to his 2022 title credentials with an impressive victory, which saw him charge past Will Davison in the final stages of the race.
 
In what turned out to be a battle of tyre strategies, van Gisbergen ended up taking the win by five seconds over Davison, while Cam Waters rounded out the podium.
 
Although it was van Gisbergen who started on pole, it was Dick Johnson Racing’s Davison who got the better start of the two as he took the lead off the line.
 
Starting on super softs, it didn’t take long for Tim Slade to replace Davison for top spot with the duo having battled for more than half the race before the latter regained the lead on lap 55.
 
With van Gisbergen getting extra petrol during his first pit stop, he ended up down the field in the middle of the pack with a mountain of work to do, but the Kiwi persevered and made up positions one-by-one.
 
Eventually he passed Slade with just over 20 laps to go and trailed the race leader by 17 seconds and the second placed Chaz Mostert by 10 seconds. 
 
van Gisbergen ended up overtaking Mostert eight laps later which proved a pivotal moment as it gave van Gisbergen the motivation to continue his hunt for Davison, while it marked the beginning of Mostert’s descent down the order.
 
The reigning Supercars champion then made his move with just four laps to go, courtesy of having better traction and more fuel, passing Davison with a slick move to regain the lead before crossing the line for his ninth win at Reid Park.

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"I thought we'd put ourselves too far back," van Gisbergen said.
 
"Came home strong in the eight, good battle with Will. His lines were awesome, he was driving really well.
 
"It's going to be tough tomorrow, for sure."
 
Davison added: "I didn't know if we could manage it, we just ran out of laps.
 
"Great job by the team. It was a really fun race."
 
The battle for third was just as intense Cam Waters ended taking the final spot of the podium a further 20 seconds behind, after he himself had replaced Andre Heimgartner in the dying stages.
 
Both Waters and Heimgartner got past Mostert with a few laps to go after the latter ran into traffic but the Waters managed to edge out Heimgartner in an impressive effort.
 
Rounding out the top five was Scott Pye, who finished ahead of Anton De Pasquale, Broc Feeney and Slade.
 
Mostert’s slide down the order in the late stages saw him reach the chequered flag in ninth position and ahead of Jack Le Brocq in 10th.
 
The NTI Townsville 500 resumes tomorrow at 2:25pm AEST with the second 88-lap race of the weekend.
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