A year ago Chaz Mostert led Shane van Gisbergen late in the day and they battled for the win in the Bathurst 1000. Mostert held track position and had a slight edge in car speed – and he and van Gisbergen both knew it.
In 2022 the positions were reversed. Van Gisbergen and co-driver Garth Tander took advantage of a perfectly-timed full-course yellow at one-third race distance to vault to the lead and even a five-second penalty for a pitlane infringement was not enough for them to take a narrow win in the classic race.
“SVG” was able to build a small gap over the final 15-lap sprint around the 3.85-mile Mount Panorama track to take his second Bathurst win, and the last for the Holden Commodore after four decades of racing in the event.
“I just want to go and do another stint — that was sick!” grinned van Gisbergen, who just a week ago finished in the top 10 in his WRC debut in New Zealand.
“When Chaz got into second I got a bit worried, we know how fast he is. I am rapt.”
After his fifth victory in the race, Tander was impressed with his co-driver’s speed.
“Shane at the end, how he can do that, to punch out laps like that, it’s such an honor to be there,” Tander said. “The car got better and better all day.”
With his 19th race victory of 2022, van Gisbergen breaks the record for the most race wins in a single Supercars season, and extends his lead in the points chase to 567 with two rounds (worth 600 points) remaining.
Mostert and co-driver Fabian Coulthard had to cope with a damaged anti-roll bar early in the race, which compromised their car’s speed and tire wear. The two-time race winner pushed hard, but fell 1.0991s short.
Third was Cam Waters and James Moffat who, at least, we able to stem their run of second places in 2020 and ’21 — though not in the way they wanted. Their Monster Energy/Tickford Ford Mustang tangled with another car while Moffat was at the wheel, and had to come back from the midfield.
Fourth was the Boost Mobile/Erebus Motorsport Holden of Brodie Kostecki/David Russell. In spite of a slight lack of straight-line speed the pair were in the lead battle all day, though Kostecki was not happy when he lost a position after his final stop when he came across a pickup truck, which was on the track to assist with the recovery of the crashed Ford Mustang of Will Davison, which went a lap down after his co-driver, his brother Alex, bogged the car mid race and lost a lap while it was pulled out of a mudbath.
It was a tricky day for most of the teams, with weather forecasts leading many to expect a wet opening half of the race. It did rain during the first quarter of the race but only on one side of the race, and not enough to prompt any of the drivers to swap their slick tires for wets.
The race took more than an hour to get going, with a multi-car accident on the opening lap prompting the first of eight safety car periods.
Almost as soon as the race resumed it went under yellow flags again, leaving a number of teams with damaged cars and forcing three of them out of the race.
Fifth place went to the Holden Commodore of Broc Feeney and co-driver (and Red Bull Racing’s co-owner) Jamie Whincup, who emerged unscathed from a 720-degree spin on the opening lap of the race. They finished ahead of the Lee Holdsworth/Matt Payne Ford, the last-named taking Rookie of the Year honors. Anton De Pasquale/Tony D’Alberto (Shell/DJR Ford) were next, in spite of having the car’s rear suspension rebuilt after an early crash, and Craig Lowndes/Declan Fraser (Supercheap Auto/Triple 8 Holden) followed.
The top 10 was rounded out by the Holdens of Bryce Fullwood/Dean Fiore (Middy’s/Brad Jones Racing) and Will Brown/Jack Perkins, who came back after going a lap down after early suspension damage in their Boost Mobile/Erebus entry.
1 Garth Tander/Shane van Gisbergen Red Bull/Triple 8 Holden Commodore 6h41m53.7221s
2 Fabian Coulthard/Chaz Mostert Optus Mobile/WAU Holden Commodore +1.0991s
3 James Moffat/Cam Waters Monster Energy/Tickford Ford Mustang +5.9875s
4 David Russell/Brodie Kostecki Boost Mobile/Erebus Holden Commodore +10.1572s
5 Jamie Whincup/Broc Feeney Red Bull/Triple 8 Holden Commodore +15.0853s
6 Lee Holdsworth/Matt Payne (R) Penrite Oils/Grove Racing Ford Mustang +15.7835s
7 Tony D’Alberto/Anton De Pasquale Shell V-Power/DJR Ford Mustang +18.8110s
8 Craig Lowndes/Declan Fraser (R) Supercheap Auto/Triple 8 Holden Commodore +19.7505s
9 Bryce Fullwood/Dean Fiore Middy’s Electrical/WAU Holden Commodore +21.7230s
10 Jack Perkins/Will Brown Boost Mobile/Erebus Holden Commodore +22.6732s
Fastest lap: van Gisbergen on lap 151, 2m06.2663s