Supercars 2022: Cameron Waters throws down title challenge to Shane van Gisbergen at Winton

Ford star Cameron Waters has emerged as the blue oval’s best hope of chasing down runaway championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.

Cameron Waters claimed the final race in Winton. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty
Cameron Waters claimed the final race in Winton. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty

Ford star Cameron Waters has emerged as the blue oval’s best hope of chasing down runaway championship leader Shane van Gisbergen after a winning weekend at Winton.

After being stripped of a win in the last round at Perth, Waters left the Winton SuperSprint with two victories and a pair of pole positions to assert himself as the Ford driver most likely to challenge the defending champion this year.

Backing up from his first victory of the year in Saturday’s opening race with a second win in Sunday’s final sprint battle, Waters was again forced to hold off the fast-finishing Triple Eight star as he hunted him late in the race.

Waters had held a lead of almost six seconds over van Gisbergen after the Tickford Racing driver emerged from his pit stop on lap 25, but van Gisbergen had cut that to less than half a second by the end of the 36-lap race.

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Van Gisbergen earlier claimed his ninth win of the year after producing a brilliant mid-race pass on Waters to secure the 150th podium of his career.

Sitting fourth in the championship behind van Gisbergen and Dick Johnson Racing duo and fellow Ford drivers Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison leading into he round, Waters has now moved up to third position in the standings.

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner claimed his second podium of the year to finish third in the final race behind Waters and van Gisbergen.

Celebrating the win with a burnout, Waters was confident he could still find more pace from his car to hunt van Gisbergen.

“I am so pumped to get it done again, two wins this weekend,” Waters said.

“Absolutely amazing, I can’t thank my team enough, they have given me an absolute rocket ship this weekend and it’s been awesome to be able to convert it as well.

“I knew Shane took three tyres (at his pit stop) so I knew he was going to come back at me as fast as that first stint but I just tried to press on and maintain as much of a gap as we could and I held on.

Cameron Waters claimed the final race in Winton. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty
Cameron Waters claimed the final race in Winton. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty

“It was my best ever (start) and a bit of tactics trying to get Shane back in the pack, I knew he was fast so I helped Andre out to get him through in front of Shane and it really helped the start of the race for me.

“It means so bloody much. They (the team) have worked so hard, I’ve already said we’ve had an up-down start to the year and they have worked hard to make sure they have given us the best cars that they can.

“There is still more pace in this car, we are going to keep digging. We have still got to hunt down this guy (van Gisbergen) on race pace so we will keep pushing.”

Van Gisbegen extended his lead in the championship to 281 points over De Pasquale, who managed two eighth places and 10th in the Winton round. De Pasquale’s teammate Davison also endured a tough weekend.

After extending his points lead with a win and two second placings at Winton, van Gisbergen hoped to build on his championship momentum into the next round in Darwin.

“I hope everyone enjoyed the show that Cam and I put on. It was great battling him all weekend, but he came out on top,” van Gisbergen said.

“For us, it is really cool - a good points weekend and we gained a lot on the guys behind and we have got to keep that momentum going.”

Grove Racing’s David Reynolds completed a strong weekend when he finished fourth in the final race after his third-place finish in the first two races.

SvG pulls off mid-race magic in Winton

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has delivered another racing masterclass to break Triple Eight’s Winton drought with victory in Sunday’s opening sprint race.

Setting up the win with a brilliant mid-race pass on Tickford Racing rival Cameron Waters, van Gisbergen claimed his ninth win of the season to extend his Supercars series lead to a runaway 244 points.

Keeping his record of a win at every single round this year intact, van Gisbergen claimed Triple Eight’s first victory at Winton since he won 2017.

Van Gisbergen started in second position on the grid after Saturday winner Waters grabbed a pair of poles earlier for Sunday’s two sprint races.

Shane van Gisbergen faked a left on Cameron Waters before making a stunning pass on his inside mid-race. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Shane van Gisbergen faked a left on Cameron Waters before making a stunning pass on his inside mid-race. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Pitting ahead of Waters mid-race, van Gisbergen stole the lead when the Ford star re-joined just in front of the defending champion following his pit stop on the next lap.

On warmer tyres, van Gisbergen faked left before making a stunning pass on the inside, going onto win the race by more than five seconds ahead of Waters.

“It was a great race, Cam was quick again but our boys did an awesome job in the pit stop and that put the pressure on them,” van Gisbergen said.

“Thanks to Red Bull Ampol Racing, they won the race in the pits and then put a nice move on Cam.

“The car was awesome, I just kept pushing and made a nice gap, so see how we go this afternoon but really enjoying the racing with these guys.

“It’s really good racing him (Waters), he doesn’t give you any room, but just enough and that’s all I need for a good race .. he got us yesterday but got him back today.”

The victory delivered van Gisbergen his 150th career podium, becoming only the third driver to do so behind Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

Van Gisbergen after taking out race 2 of the Winton SuperSprint round. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Van Gisbergen after taking out race 2 of the Winton SuperSprint round. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Van Gisbergen will start from second place on the grid behind Waters for the final sprint race of the round on Sunday afternoon.

Waters, who held off van Gisbergen to win his first race of the year on Saturday, said

“I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge when I blended out of pit lane,” Waters said.

“I was just trying to get the best run I could off (turn) two and tried to defend but I thought he was going to go on the outside and criss-cross me, so caught me a bit off guard.

“But awesome to have another battle with Shane ….but he was much faster in that one.”

Grove Racing continued its strong performance this round with David Reynold claiming his second third place just ahead of teammate Lee Holdsworth in fourth.

Ford ace franks qualifying form for thriller with SvG

Ford ace Cameron Waters has backed up from his opening race win at Winton with a pair of poles for today’s two Supercars sprint races.

After breaking through for his first win of the year when he held off a fierce chase from series leader Shane van Gisbergen on Saturday, Waters put his Mustang on the front of the grid for Sunday’s two 36-lap races.

Van Gisbergen qualified second behind Waters for both races after he extended his series lead with his second-place finish on Saturday.

Dedicating his race win to his late grandmother on Saturday, Waters will be hoping to ignite his championship charge in what shapes as another enticing battle with van Gisbergen.

“It’s a massive confidence boost, particularly after yesterday as well,” Waters, who sits fourth in the championship, said.

Cameron Waters will be hoping his Monster Energy Racing Ford Mustang can get the job done again at Winton on Sunday. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Cameron Waters will be hoping his Monster Energy Racing Ford Mustang can get the job done again at Winton on Sunday. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

“The car was awesome and the boys did a really good job overnight to fix the little things that I was chasing and the car is really, really good.

“I think it will be a better race car again today. Super pumped to be starting P1 in both races.

“It will be awesome to be racing Shane again, I got a pretty good start yesterday so a few more of them will be nice … hopefully we come out on top again.”

Waters paid an emotional tribute after scoring his first win since July last year on Saturday.

“This win is really, really special. I want to dedicate the win to my nanna, who I lost around Easter weekend,” Waters said.

After finishing third on Saturday, Grove Racing’s David Reynolds qualified third and fifth for Sunday’s two races.

‘Massive relief’: Supercars star rides bump to bury SvG

Ford star Cameron Waters has broken through for his first win of the year to inject life into his Supercars championship fight after holding off series leader Shane van Gisbergen in a high-country duel at Winton.

Forced to fend off a fierce chase from the defending champion as the pair battled for the lead, Waters held his nerve to claim his first win since Townsville last July.

Waters survived a last-ditch attack from van Gisbergen when the Triple Eight star lunged at the final turn but the Tickford Racing star held on to claim his first victory at the circuit.

Cameron Waters after winning race 1 during the Winton SuperSprint. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Cameron Waters after winning race 1 during the Winton SuperSprint. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

The result made amends for the win Waters was denied in the last round in Perth after copping a time penalty that relegated him to fourth after crossing the line first.

David Reynolds finished third in a strong day for Grove Racing with his teammate Lee Holdsworth finishing fifth.

Chaz Mostert finished fourth for Walkinshaw Andretti United, turning around his form after a horror outing in Perth.

Waters got the jump on van Gisbergen off the line and knew he had to keep something in reserve at the end of the 36-lap race to hold off the van Gisbergen attack.

“It was an awesome race,” Waters said.

“I had to have something in the tank at the end, I knew he’d have a crack.

“It was awesome to come out on top. I’m absolutely pumped. It’s been an up-and-down start to the year and it’s a massive relief.

Cameron Waters celebrates his victory at Winton raceway. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Cameron Waters celebrates his victory at Winton raceway. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

“We can make it better for tomorrow. It’s 95 percent there, it’s doing a lot of things very well, so massive thanks to Tickford for working hard and giving me a car so fast.”

Finishing second after starting the race on pole, van Gisbergen extended his lead in the championship to 196 points over Anton De Pasquale (eighth) while fourth-placed Waters closed his gap slightly to the series leader.

Van Gisbergen has won eight of the series’ 13 races so far this year and looked primed for another after setting the pace in qualifying.

He revealed he broke a steering arm on his car in his last-turn attempt to steal the lead from Waters.

Shane van Gisbergen lunged at the final turn but Cameron Waters held on to claim his first victory at the circuit.
Shane van Gisbergen lunged at the final turn but Cameron Waters held on to claim his first victory at the circuit.

“It was a great race and congrats to Cam and his team, it was really fun to be back here,” van Gisbergen said.

“I couldn’t quite get him, he missed the apex of the second-last corner so I had a crack and then we came together at the last one (turn).

“The car was really good, so we’ll try again tomorrow.

“We’ll fix that (steering arm) and try to get in front.”

Earlier, van Gisbergen claimed his first pole position at Winton with a qualifying lap record.

Claiming his third pole of the year, the New Zealand ace secured Triple Eight’s first pole at the country Victorian circuit since Jamie Whincup in 2013.

The defending Supercars champion moved into the top-five for all-time career poles after putting his Commodore at the front of the grid.

He equalled Holden great Mark Skaife in fifth place with the 41st pole position of his career.

After starting fourth on the grid, it was a horror day for Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown, whose hopes of challenging for a podium evaporated after a disastrous pit stop when his car was lowered with the rear wheel not bolted on properly.

Forced to the back of the field, he copped another blow when he received a pit lane penalty for unsafe rotating wheels and finished last.

The Supercars will have two more sprint races at Winton on Sunday.

SvG joins racing great with qualifying lap record

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has seized his first pole position at Winton after producing a qualifying lap record to set himself up for another Supercars blitz

Claiming his third pole of the year, the New Zealand ace secured Triple Eight’s first pole at the country Victorian track since Jamie Whincup in 2013.

Continuing his dominant early season form, the defending Supercars champion moved into the top-five for all-time career poles after putting his Commodore at the front of the grid.

Shane van Gisbergen charges around the Winton circuit. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Shane van Gisbergen charges around the Winton circuit. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

He equalled Holden great Mark Skaife in fifth place with the 41st pole position of his career.

Van Gisbergen will chase his ninth race win in the first of three sprint races at Winton this round on Saturday afternoon.

He topped qualifying ahead of Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert and Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown.

Van Gisbergen said he had more to extract in the race after making qualifying errors.

“I kept making mistakes and then that one we had a problem and I couldn’t get sixth down the front straight and hung on the limiter and didn’t lose much but (it was) still annoying,” van Gisbergen said.

“It’s very hard to drive here, there is so much grip, the cars are really alive.

“Really cool, it’s the fastest we’ve been here on this tyre as well, so enjoying it but see how we go in the race.”

Van Gisbergen after setting the fastest time in qualifying. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Van Gisbergen after setting the fastest time in qualifying. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Triple Eight’s last victory at Winton was in 2017 when van Gisbergen won. Supercars has not raced at the track the past two years.

Grove Racing’s David Reynolds was less happy with his qualifying effort after putting his Mustang in seventh place on the grid after setting an early hot pace in the session.

Reynolds delivered a brutally honest assessment after his speed dropped off as the qualifying session went on.

“It was just s---house,” Reynolds said.

“It could be a driver f--- up, who knows?”

Time bandit: Mostert’s incredible moment at Bathurst 12 Hour

Reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Chaz Mostert has qualified in pole position for the Bathurst 12 Hour by the smallest margin in the event’s history.

Mostert, who swapped his Commodore for an Audi for the race, clinched top spot after qualifying.

He had gone back and forth for the top spot with Kelvin van der Linde, needing to knock 0.09 of a second off his best time in the final lap to claim pole position.

Going into the final sector of the final lap of the shoot out he was yet to match van der Linde’s time but in true Mostert fashion he did the seemingly impossible — finishing 0.08 of a second ahead of his South African rival — the smallest pole position margin in the history of the endurance race.

Popular driver Chaz Mostert has claimed pole by the smallest margin in the history of the endurance race.
Popular driver Chaz Mostert has claimed pole by the smallest margin in the history of the endurance race.

Mostert, stoked with the outcome, said he was just out to “give it a red hot crack”.

“The other boys were pretty quick,” the V8s Supercar driver said.

“Van de Linde is a South African pain in my bum,” he joked.

“But we had a lot of fun and the race is going to be a lot of fun.”

It is the second time Mostert has got to raise the Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy, taking it out in a close battle in 2018, with BMW.

Chaz Mostert, pictured on his way to winning last year’s Bathurst 1000, will swap his Commodore for an Audi in Sunday’s 12-hour endurance race.
Chaz Mostert, pictured on his way to winning last year’s Bathurst 1000, will swap his Commodore for an Audi in Sunday’s 12-hour endurance race.

“To do it again is pretty amazing. Allan Simonsen was a fantastic competitor here in Australia in GT racing so I’m really grateful to win this one again and to do it with the whole Audi team here is pretty cool,” Mostert said.

Fellow V8s Supercar drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Lee Holdsworth will start Sunday’s race from 5th and 6th on the grid.

Sunday’s race will begin in the dark at 5.15am AEST.

The 2022 race will be broadcast live and ad-break free on Fox Sports 506, Kayo Sports.

Originally published as Supercars 2022: Cameron Waters throws down title challenge to Shane van Gisbergen at Winton

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