Motorsport: Van Gisbergen eases to opening win

By Dale Budge

Shane Van Gisbergen during the Clipsal 500. Photo / Getty Images
Shane Van Gisbergen during the Clipsal 500. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen has begun the 2017 season the way he finished last year by claiming victory in the first race at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide.

Starting from pole the reigning series champion was jumped on the opening lap by fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard but some smart strategy by his Red Bull Holden Racing Team crew saw the 27-year-old get back in front with a third of the race to go.

He bolted at that point and ended up with a 14 second win over Coulthard, who impressed in the DJR Team Penske Ford.

"What a great first day as Red Bull Holden Racing Team," van Gisbergen said.

"Awesome race, very tough at the start but we pushed on at the end, got to the front.
Great strategy and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow."

James Courtney finished third in the Mobil 1 HSV Racing Holden.

Van Gisbergen's teammate Jamie Whincup finished sixth but will have a nervous wait overnight as he spun Mark Winterbottom around midway through the race. A post-race investigation will determine if he gets any punishment. Winterbottom finished 15th.

New Zealand's Scott McLaughlin blew a good result when he was handed a drive-through penalty for weaving at a safety car re-start. He ended up 17th.

A second 250km race awaits the drivers on Sunday.

Race 1 Results
1.Shane van Gisbergen (Holden)
2.Fabian Coulthard (Ford)
3.James Courtney (Holden)
4.Cameron Waters (Ford)
5.Rick Kelly (Nissan)
6.Jamie Whincup (Holden)
7.Nick Percat (Holden)
8.Craig Lowndes (Holden)
9.Chaz Mostert (Ford)
10.James Moffat (Holden)

- NZ Herald

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