Cameron Waters beats Shane van Gisbergen by 0.2s in first Gold Coast race
Cameron Waters (Ford) won an exciting first Supercars Championship race of the Gold Coast 500 weekend, beating reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen by just 0.1945 seconds.
The Tickford Racing driver started from pole and headed into the lead as the lights went out ahead of Matt Payne of Penrite Racing.
Triple Eight Race Engineering’s van Gisbergen meanwhile made a slow start from third to drop to fifth on the opening lap.
Waters made his pit stop on lap 27 and got out just ahead of David Reynolds and soon pulled away from the Grove Racing driver.
Van Gisbergen (Chevrolet) passed Payne to claim the lead on lap 29, then pitting three laps later, seeing Waters back into the lead of the race.
Waters made his second and final pit stop on lap 53 while second-placed Reynolds pitted a lap later, emerging back on track in the lead ahead of Waters.
But the Tickford Racing driver was soon able to get back past Reynolds.
Van Gisbergen completed his final stop on lap 56, heading back out on track in third place and soon started to gain on Reynolds.
Lap 75 saw van Gisbergen passing Reynolds for second place and was around two seconds behind leading driver Waters at that stage.
The reigning champion was right on the back bumper of Waters as they headed out on the final lap, trying to get past at Turn 4. But the Tickford Racing driver was able to stay ahead to win the race with the closest ever margin in a Gold Coast race of just 0.1945 seconds.
Reynolds finished a distant third ahead of Thomas Randle and points leader Brodie Kostecki in fifth.
Kostecki has seen his points lead shrink to 104 points over van Gisbergen, with 450 points left to fight for in the remaining three races of the 2023 season.
Next up is the second qualifying session of the Gold Coast weekend, starting at 10:05 local time/01:05 CEST on Sunday.