Holden’s last Supercars race a winner

A famous 52-year old war has ended in a fairy tale finish for Holden with the Australian V8 legend claiming a final win over Ford.

In a fitting farewell for the brand that helped turn a regional race held on the side of a sheep paddock into Australia’s very own Monaco, Holden claimed its 34th and final Bathurst crown on an emotional day on the mountain.

A legend that began in 1968 when a car called the Monaro beat down a Falcon, Holden floored Ford in a thrilling final fight that went down to the last lap to leave the sport.

Dead and buried as a car company but a Bathurst legend that will never be lost, Shane van Gisbergen waved the famous red-flag for one final time on an emotional victory lap after beating new Mustang main man Cameron Waters in a one-on-one war.


Triple Eight Race Engineering owner Rolland Dane held back tears after his team ended Holden’s official involvement in the sport with a famous win.

Shane van Gisbergen prevailed after a lengthy duel with Cameron Waters at Bathurst.

The Commodore will be on track without official support next year before being replaced by the Camaro in 2021.

“It was an awesome job by all these guys and I really wanted to acknowledge the end of an era with Holden,” Dane said.

“We are leaving them with a tinge of sadness but also looking forward to the future. We have great plans which everyone has seen and hopefully we will be back here in a couple of years with the most exciting cars Bathurst has ever seen. But it is farewell to Holden as a new car brand in Australia and we have had some great memories. We are really sorry that we can’t share this win today with all those fans that would usually be here because of COIVD.

Holden hero Garth Tander also paid tribute to the Aussie institution after claiming his fourth Bathurst crown in a Commodore.

Tander follows in the footsteps of the great Peter Brock who won nine Bathurst titles for Holden during a partnership that rivalled Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

“It is really special for us to win this as Holden’s last official factory team,” Tander said.

“We get to stand on the top step of a place that means so much to Holden. It is really, really cool.”

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– Rebecca Williams

Scott McLaughlin declared he is satisfied he has achieved everything he wanted to in Supercars, despite missing the podium and the chance to silence his critics over last year’s controversial Bathurst win at Mount Panorama on Sunday.

After what is expected to be his last full-time race as a Supercars driver ahead of a move to IndyCars the United States, McLaughlin was officially crowned champion for the third straight year before giving the strongest indication yet it was his last campaign.

McLaughlin had to settle for fifth place at Mount Panorama on Sunday as his Holden rival Shane van Gisbergen sealed his maiden Bathurst crown.

As he prepares to head off to the United States on Monday ahead of his IndyCar debut at St Petersburg next week, the DJR Team Penske star said he was satisfied he had done everything he had wanted to in Supercars.

“I have done everything I have wanted to achieve regardless of how St Pete goes,” McLaughlin said.

“I know right now I have got to grab this opportunity with both hands. It’s not an audition I would say … but I can’t be a gumby, I’ve got to go out there and drive the thing as fast as I can and acquaint myself as best as I can.

“I said I wanted to win a Bathurst, a championship and be a consistent front-runner (in this series). I really want to move up that leaderboard with wins and poles and really proud of all that.

“If it is (my last full-time race) I am completely satisfied.”

McLaughlin’s maiden Bathurst 1000 victory was shrouded in controversy last year with one rival team boss saying it remained “tainted” in the lead-up to this weekend’s race.

DJR Team Penske was slapped with a record-breaking $250,000 fine and stripped of 300 team points for issuing an illegal team order to McLaughlin’s teammate Fabian Coulthard.

The team was then handed another bombshell penalty after stewards found the team guilty of an engine breach at Mount Panorama. McLaughlin was stripped of his qualifying and top-10 shootout win from Bathurst, while the team was hit with another $30,000 fine.

Despite missing the chance to erase last year’s controversy with a podium on Sunday, McLaughlin said his third championship win was his “proudest”.

He celebrated the championship by burning rubber around the Mount Panorama circuit.

“To wrap the teams championship up along with the drivers championship is fantastic and was our goal that we had coming into it,” McLaughlin said.

“It was made a bit easier with Triple Eight’s little moment at the top of the hill, but I’m really proud. It’s been tough for everyone … It’s one of my proudest championships.

“I’m proud of everyone at Shell V Power Racing, it’s been an awesome year and it’s been hard for a lot of teams including ours and I’m just proud to bring home the bacon.”

McLaughlin will line up for Team Penske at the IndyCar season finale at St Petersburg in Florida on October 25.

He finished the year 451 points ahead of Tickford Racing’s Waters in the 2020 championship battle, completing a dominant year with 13 race wins – nine ahead of Jamie Whincup – and 15 pole positions.


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Red Bull Holden’s van Gisbergen triumphs at Bathurst

Bathurst always delivers drama and tension, heartbreak and an unpredictable narrative, and this year was no exception.

There was an early surprise on lap 33 when multiple race winner Jamie Whincup, one of the most experienced men in the field, crashed out, ensuring that neither he nor his veteran partner Craig Lowndes would be adding to their Bathurst tally.

Waters and McLauglin, who had clinched the championship for the third year running at Tailem Bend at the round before Bathurst, were holding sway but Van Gisbergen took the lead on lap 55 as rain began to fall.

From that point onwards he and Tander were in control although they had to endure several anxious moments, none more so than at the end of a race they looked to have in their keeping as the safety car came onto the track to pack up the field twice in the final nine laps.

Van Gisbergen held his rivals at bay after the first restart, but his heart sank when there was another stoppage because of an accident out on the track.


With three laps to go he knew he had to manage the restart impeccably otherwise Waters would take advantage and snatch victory at the last.

There was little between them but the 31-year-old – whom his team boss Roland Dane described as one of the most intelligent drivers on the grid when it comes to managing every aspect of the race – handled the tense situation in a calm manner.

He produced three fast qualifying style laps to hold off his rivals as a nervous Tander looked on from the team’s garage.

In the end Van Gisbergen took the chequered flag 0.8 seconds clear of Waters, who was finishing on the podium for the first time in his career.

It was a bitter sweet occasion for Holden fans, as van Gisbergen’s boss Dane alluded to after the race.

Straight and narrow: Holden driver leads the field down the famous Conrod Straight at Mount Panorama.Credit:Edge Photographics

The car company will cease to be a brand in Australia after it’s parent company, General Motors, opted to exit the local market. One consequence will be the end of the traditional Ford v Holden rivalry at Bathurst.

Van Gisbergen took off on his victory lap waving a Holden flag, declaring that his race winning feeling was ”awesome.”

“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,” he said.


“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.”

He said he was confident that he would be able to hold Waters at bay if he managed to get past the second turn after the restarts.

“Each time he got pretty close but (I) got through Turn 2 with good grip so I knew I would be OK. Those last three stints were just qualifying laps.

“It was a real track position race, super hard to pass and when that rain came I was a bit slow at the start but then got going. That got us to the front and we never left it. Awesome day.”

McLaughlin took the championship, but Whincup’s failure and Water’s second place on the mountain means the 25-year-old from Mildura moves up to second on the title race standings, with Van Gisbergen jumping to third and Whincup slipping down to fourth.

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