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Shane van Gisbergen takes victory in Townsville

Red Bull Ampol Racing Team’s Shane van Gisbergen has chased down title rival Will Davison to take victory in Race 19 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Townsville.

Both on super soft compound tyres, van Gisbergen clawed back 17s on Davison following the second pit stops to add another victory and further enhance his title favouritism.

This was in contrast to the battle for the final step on the podium where Monster Energy Racing’s Cam Waters edged Brad Jones Racing form driver Andre Heimgartner to third on the last lap.

With Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Anton De Pasquale struggling to sixth, van Gisbergen’s title lead extends to 262 points.

Starting on super softs compared to the hard compound, Tim Slade and David Reynolds scythed their way through the field to lead the early stages.

A crucial move occurred behind the lead duo when van Gisbergen passed Davison to be the first of the hard runners approaching the first pit stops.

Long fuel stops early proved beneficial for van Gisbergen as although he dropped position, it proved pivotal at the end of the race.

Slade continued to lead after changing tyres, but he lacked pace on hards and was overhauled through the middle portion of the race.

The real battle for the lead was between Davison, who came out back ahead following the pit stops as van Gisbergen was forced to make position, which he did before the final service.

Mobil 1 Optus Racing’s Chaz Mostert was the first of the leading contenders to swap onto the super softs, but this gamble proved fruitless as he dropped to ninth by the finish.

It was van Gisbergen with the momentum and leaving the pits needing to find 17s in 25 laps, he successfully caught Davison with five laps to go.

It was win number 10 for van Gisbergen as he finished 5.1s clear of Davison, while a further 15s behind were Waters and Heimgartner.

Team18’s Scott Pye rewarded his squad in fifth after repairing his Commodore since Darwin as De Pasquale, Broc Feeney, Slade, Mostert and Jack Le Brocq completed the top 10.

A great recovery from Erebus Motorsport duo Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki enabled the pair to just miss the top 10, while on the other hand the Grove Racing duo were disappointing. Lee Holdsworth and Reynolds finished in the back end of the top 20.

A start line collision dropped newcomer James Golding out of contention early and earnt James Courtney a 15s penalty as the latter made a bad jump then preceded to move across on the PremiAir Subway Commodore.

Tomorrow’s Repco Supercars Championship action begins with qualifying for Race 20 at 10:10am AEST.