'So unfair': Fans in disbelief over 'awful' Bathurst 1000 moment

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·Sports Reporter
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Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen was robbed of second place in the Bathurst 1000 after one of his rear tyres deflated with just seven laps left to race. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox Motorsport
Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen was robbed of second place in the Bathurst 1000 after one of his rear tyres deflated with just seven laps left to race. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox Motorsport

Mount Panorama has a habit of breaking hearts, and it was Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen's turn to feel the pain with seven laps left to run in Sunday's Bathurst 1000.

Having sealed the championship earlier in the season, the Red Bull Racing driver was hoping to cap off a dominant season with a second place finish in the great race.

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All seemed to be going to plan, despite the team not quite having the pace to catch up to eventual race winner Chaz Mostert, who capitalised on a new-record lap around the mountain in qualifying to secure victory.

As van Gisbergen began the lap, he reported tyre problems to his team and agonisingly dropped down the order as he was forced to slow down due to the slowly deflating rubber.

Former Supercars driver and veteran commentator Neil Crompton summed up the heartbreak of the situation on the broadcast.

“He’s gone,” Crompton said.

“It looks like it is deflating. Unbelievable. That is so unfair.”

After eventually making it back around the 6.2km circuit and pitting for fresh rubber, van Gisbergen brought the Red Bull car home in 18th place for himself and co-driver Garth Tander.

“He’s limping home," fellow commentator Mark Skaife added as van Gisbergen was forced to make way for the much faster chasing pack behind him.

“He’s got to be super careful. He tries to stay out of everyone’s way. He is out of the podium. Heartbreak for Garth Tander.”

Fans were equally gutted for the Red Bull duo on social media, with the pair having kept a clean nose throughout the historically demanding endurance race right up until the dying stages.

Mostert and his Walkinshaw Andretti United co-driver Lee Holdsworth - who is finally a Bathurst 1000 champion at his 18th attempt - were the quickest and most consistent drivers at Mount Panorama all weekend.

Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsowrth hang on for thrilling Bathurst 1000 triumph

Mostert's golden run from pole appeared to be in tatters after he was forced to bring his Commodore into the garage on lap 49 of the 161-lap epic due to a left-wheel puncture.

However, there was no panic in the WAU ranks as Mostert recovered and was able to cross the line almost four seconds ahead of Ford ace Cameron Waters, who finished runner-up for the second year in a row.

Erebus' Brodie Kostecki achieved his best result on the mountain by coming in third.

Seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup was fourth, narrowly missing out on the podium, in his final race before transitioning into off-track management as Red Bull Ampol's new boss.

It was Mostert's 16th win of his Supercars career and his first Bathurst 1000 victory in a Commodore after an extraordinary 2014 triumph while driving a Ford Falcon.

This year was the first Supercars season after General Motors decided to retire the iconic Holden Brand.

Mostert has mixed memories at Mount Panorama, with his maiden Bathurst 1000 win - achieved from 25th and last on the grid - was followed up by an horrific crash in 2015 that left him with a broken leg and wrist.

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth took out the Bathurst 1000 on Sunday, recovering from an early tyre failure to win from pole. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth took out the Bathurst 1000 on Sunday, recovering from an early tyre failure to win from pole. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

"When we did that tyre, I thought it going to be a tough slog," Mostert said.

"But this car has been speedy all weekend.

"We started on pole and we won the race and every time you start on pole, you never think you're going to win it.

"After I had the tyre drama, I changed my driving style to stay away from all the kerbs and still try to extract speed.

"It's one of those things when you're leading the race with eight laps to go, you start hearing all these funny noises in the car and you never think you're going to get there."

The 64th running of the race was relatively incident-free until a wild echidna wandered onto the track during lap 105.

Several cars, going at more than 250 kph, narrowly missed hitting the spiny anteater as it slowly made its way across the width of the track, before the second safety car of the race was called.

But the safety car was then called out another four times in the last 56 laps, as tired drivers started to make mistakes.

The Dewalt Racing Team 18 of Scott Pye and James Golding was the first entry to withdraw, completing just six laps.

Erebus rookie Will Brown's maiden Bathurst 1000 as a main driver ended in a disappointing 20th place, after earlier claiming provisional pole, with teammate Jack Perkins experiencing steering issues.

Five cars - Feeney, Golding, Zane Goddard, Anton De Pasquale and Andre Heimgartner - failed to finish.

With AAP

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