It was Holden’s final race in the Australian Supercars series, and the marque went out in style at the Bathurst 1000. The No. 97 Holden Commodore piloted by Shane van Ginsbergen and Garth Tander took hold of the lead after a short rain shower about halfway through the race, and the duo came across the finish line in first place. It also means that, after years of trying, van Ginsbergen is finally a Bathurst 1000 winner.
That’s not to say it was a straightforward race at the mountain, especially in the last 10 laps, which saw two different restarts that kept competitor Cam Waters on the No. 97's tail. But with a win in sight, no one would be stopping van Ginsbergen. He set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap and took the checkered flag.
“The last few laps were really rough with the safety cars,” van Ginsbergen said after the race. “But the team did a faultless job, the car got better all weekend. Thanks to Garth, he did an awesome job. I just wish mum and dad were here.”
Regarding the restarts, he noted the following:
“I knew as long as I got through Turn 2, I’d be fine. Each time [Waters] got pretty close, but I got through Turn 2 with good grip and knew I’d be okay. But man, all those last three stints were qualifying laps. Just awesome.”
While DJR Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin had already secured the championship before coming into the Bathurst 1000, the New Zealander is still a post-race talking point. He’s set to make his IndyCar debut next weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and in interviews after the 1000, he seemed to hint that it might be his new permanent home.
“I’ve done everything I wanted to achieve [in Supercars], regardless of how St. Pete goes,” he said. “I said I wanted to win a Bathurst, a championship, and be a consistent front-runner. I really wanted to try and move up that leaderboard with wins and poles, and I’m really proud of all that.
“If it is [the end of my Supercars career], I’m completely satisfied.”
1. No. 91 Holden Commodore ZB: Shane Van Ginsbergen and Garth Tander
2. No. 6 Ford Mustang GT: Cameron Waters and Will Davison
3. No. 25 Holden Commodore ZB: Chaz Mostert and Warren Luff
4. No. 12 Ford Mustang GT: Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto
5. No. 17 Ford Mustang GT: Scott McLaughlin and Tim Slade