New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen won his fourth race in five starts and the first ever race at Bend Motorsport Park to take a big chunk of compatriot Scott McLaughlin's Supercars Championship lead.

The 2016 champion started from second on the grid and made a pass on Red Bull Holden Racing teammate Jamie Whincup shortly before a safety car was called early in the race.
That proved pivotal as Whincup lost ground stacking behind the Kiwi in the pits.

Van Gisbergen had little trouble taking off once the race went green again and powered to his sixth win of the season at a venue that proved extremely difficult to drive with the amount of dirt that got brushed across the circuit and the challenging layout.

Nissan's Rick Kelly finished second after battling teammate Michael Caruso throughout the race. Caruso held on for third while Whincup fought back to finish fourth.


McLaughlin ended up sixth, which sees his margin in the standings drop from 89 points to 41.

His Shell V-Power Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard did well to recover with 14th having started well down the grid. Fellow Kiwis Andre Heimgartner and Richie Stanaway finished 19th and 22nd respectively.

"Awesome race. I had a good battle with Jamie at the start but unfortunately he got put back," Van Gisbergen said.

"It was about staying on the track – it was very hard. There was one line and very easy to make a mistake so I just tried to behave.

"[The championship situation] could all change tomorrow – we have some work to do – the car is not perfect."

McLaughlin admitted his Shell V-Power outfit has some work to do to fight the Red Bull cars on Sunday.

"We have got plenty of work to do but at the end of the day it was step in the right direction," McLaughlin said of his race pace.

"We just need another big chunk again. We will move on and work as a team and just get through it."


A longer race awaits drivers on Sunday.