2018 SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP SYDNEY
A courageous drive from Shane van Gisbergen has helped the Holden star secure a drama-packed first Supercars night race in Australia for 21 years.
Van Gisbergen engaged in a classic battle with championship rival Scott McLaughlin before passing the Ford driver with 10 laps to go in an enthralling race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
It proved to be a stunning night for Red Bull Holden as Jamie Whincup worked his way past McLaughlin with three laps to go for a second-place finish.
Van Gisbergen's fifth win of the season, making it three from the last four, could prove to be a vital one in his quest for a second title.
The safety car coming out with 19 laps to go in the 300km race played into van Gisbergen's favour as the race previously seemed to be a two-way fight between McLaughlin and Holden veteran Craig Lowndes.
But van Gisbergen adopted an ultra-aggressive approach from the restart to pick off Lowndes before flying past fellow New Zealand driver McLaughlin following a number of unsuccessful attempts.
"It took a long time for that race to come alive, it was pretty stale and then the safety car came out and it was awesome," van Gisbergen said.
"Scotty was driving really well and defended awesomely, I gave him a couple of bumps but he wasn't fazed."
Reigning champion Whincup also benefited from the safety car as he was able to pass Lowndes and then McLaughlin, setting a race lap record of 1:29.8424 at the Eastern Creek circuit.
Tickford Racing's Chaz Mostert rounded out the top-five, finishing behind Lowndes and McLaughlin.
It could be a defining moment in the championship fight with van Gisbergen taking 300 points away from the 10th round of the season, with the sole race of the weekend worth double a regular event.
McLaughlin was unable to convert his 11th pole of the season as van Gisbergen's success cut the gap in the championship battle to only 89 points.
It was a horror night for the Mobil 1 Boost Mobile team as James Courtney failed to finish and Scott Pye, who looked promising in practice, also had problems and came in 25th.
SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT 300
1. Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden) 2:04:32.2394
2.Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Holden) 2:04:32.4449
3. Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power) 2:04:36.5111
4. Craig Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes) 2:04:37.9984
5. Chaz Mostert (Tickford Racing) 2:04:40.5860
1. Scott McLaughlin 2579 pts
2. Shane van Gisbergen 2490
3. Jamie Whincup 2146
4. Craig Lowndes 2061
5. David Reynolds (Erebus) 2030