Shane van Gisbergen has extended his championship lead with two wins from two races at the NTI Townsville 500, following a dramatic finale to the second race.
Van Gisbergen led title rival Anton De Pasquale in the final lap of Race 20 before the latter tipped van Gisbergen into a spin at the final corner.
While De Pasquale attempted a redress before the chequered flag, van Gisbergen stayed behind to force the officials to hand De Pasquale a five-second time penalty.
It followed an easier win for van Gisbergen in Race 19, extending his championship lead over De Pasquale to 274 points with his 11th win of the season, his 10th in Townsville and 65th of his career.
“Two in a row up here in Townsville is awesome, and I have to thank the entire team at Red Bull Ampol Racing,” said van Gisbergen.
“The car was good, but Anton’s was better, in he ran me down and had a lunge at the last corner which you have to respect. I’m really stoked with that win and thanks to all of the fans for turning up to this cool event.
“I tried to go slow in the closing stages in that race to conserve my tyres but also managing the gap, but I noticed in the second stint that Anton had more drive than me, although I had better front grip.
“My car was really good on the hard tyres, but I burnt up the rears and that hurt more. It was cool to have some action in the closing stages of the race, and good to see some racing.”
De Pasquale accepted blame for the accident, holding onto second place in Race 20.
“I could see on the last lap that Shane was starting to struggle, so he came off the second last corner very well, but I was still pretty far back though and I was half a door but I was too far back in the end obviously with the result,” he said.
“It was the last lap of a big race and I was starting to close in pretty quick so I had a crack and most people in the same position would do the same thing, so no message or anything like that, just trying to have a good race.
“As soon as I turned in and halfway through it, then I just locked the front and then ran into his rear door and as soon as that point happened, obviously you can’t back out of it but I tried not to stick with it and redress across the line back to where we were.”
Cameron Waters scored two third places in Townsville, with Will Davison in second place in Race 19.