Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander have won the Bathurst 1000 after their Holden Commodore finished less than a second ahead of the Ford Mustang of Cam Waters and Will Davison. The Commodore of Chaz Mostert and Warren Luff came a close third.
A nail-biting finish was assured after the safety car was deployed on lap 152, which allowed the rest of the field to close the gap to van Gisbergen and Waters. Zane Goddard hit the wall with six laps to go, prompting another safety car deployment, leaving just three laps to complete when racing resumed.
After the restart, van Gisbergen twice set the fastest lap of the race and took victory by 0.8663 seconds.
This year’s race was the last event for Holden and its official racing team, which in its final guise was known as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team (RBHRT), run by Triple Eight Race Engineering.
“It’s just awesome,” said van Gisbergen, after picking up a Holden flag from a spectator on his victory lap. “The last few laps were really tough with the safety cars, but the team did a faultless job and the car got better all weekend, so thanks to my guys.
“We had a great car and it’s a great way to send out Holden. Thanks to Garth, he did an awesome job. I just wish my mum and dad were here.”
The win marked Tander’s fourth Bathurst win, following success in 2000, 2009 and 2011.
“It’s weird now being in a co-driver role – I would much prefer to be in the car at the end of the race having control over your own destiny, but Shane was so good at the end there,” said Tander.
“This one will take a little while to sink in. It’s been such a strange year… a really special one. I’ll sit back and enjoy it.”
Waters said he gave it “absolutely everything” but had to settle for second place.
“I was trying to fuel-save and I tried to hang onto the back of Shane, but he had a bit better deg [less tyre degradation] than me and I just wasn’t quite close enough. I’ve never worked so hard in a race car.”
Kristian Aquilina, Holden’s Interim Chairman and Managing Director said the result was wonderful for Holden fans.
“Congratulations to Shane, Garth, Roland Dane [RBHRT boss] and the dedicated team at Triple Eight Race Engineering.
“Holden first claimed victory as a factory team at Bathurst over 50 years ago. This one is extra special, as it represents the final appearance of a Holden factory sponsored team.
“On Sunday, I know that many of our wonderful supporters, past drivers, team members, dealers and staff would have been watching with great pride when Shane crossed that finish line.
“Commodores will still race on in 2021, and we’re thrilled to continue our involvement in Supercars beyond next year with the announcement that the Chevrolet Camaro will join the competition from 2022,” added Aquilina.