FOR the first time in 2330 days, Will Davison has chalked up a first-across-the-line Repco Supercars Championship race win.
Davison was supreme all day at Sandown, breaking the qualifying lap record, then taking pole position, and going on to win by 8.4920s.
At a track renowned as a Triple Eight happy hunting ground, the Shell V-Power Racing Team for once outboxed their rivals on strategy to secure a first Sandown victory since James Courtney’s 2010 success.
With Anton De Pasquale coming home third, it made for Dick Johnson Racing’s first championship double top three finish at the Victorian venue in 30 years.
Davison blitzed the start and led comfortably through the first stint with roughly a second in hand over van Gisbergen.
The sister Shell car of De Pasquale pitted on Lap 12 of 36 to jump Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown for third.
All too often this year DJR has been drawn into covering off undercuts, allowing van Gisbergen to run long in clear air.
Not this time, as DJR outwaited Triple Eight, who brought their star in on Lap 17, before getting Davison in and out the following lap and back into the effective lead.
The newly re-signed veteran stretched his legs thereafter to put the result beyond doubt.
After his past two race wins had come with a time penalty hanging over a car ahead of him, Davison had not greeted the chequered flag since Race 2 of the 2016 Tasmania SuperSprint.
All the action was a little further back, with Brown having to defend vigorously at the end to hold off a hard-charging Cameron Waters for fourth.
It was a solid day for Tickford Racing, with James Courtney (sixth) and Thomas Randle (ninth) not far behind.
Team 18’s Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom were seventh and eighth, while Chaz Mostert rounded out the 10.
David Reynolds and James Golding made the most of early stops to finish 12th and 13th, respectively.
Broc Feeney recovered to 14th after being spun at Turn 9 on the opening lap by Andre Heimgartner.
Slapped with a 15-second penalty, Heimgartner wound up 23rd, only ahead of Lee Holdsworth who suffered a disastrous pit stop in his 500th race, and Chris Pither who had to visit the lane a second time.
Supercars Championship action resumes tomorrow with the first of two qualifying sessions starting 10:55am.
Race 24 results
1. Will Davison
2. Shane van Gisbergen
3. Anton De Pasquale
4. Will Brown
5. Cameron Waters
6. James Courtney
7. Scott Pye
8. Mark Winterbottom
9. Thomas Randle
10. Chaz Mostert
11. Brodie Kostecki
12. David Reynolds
13. James Golding
14. Broc Feeney
15. Nick Percat
16. Bryce Fullwood
17. Macauley Jones
18. Tim Slade
19. Jack Le Brocq
20. Jack Smith
21. Todd Hazelwood
22. Jake Kostecki
23. Andre Heimgartner
24. Lee Holdsworth
25. Chris Pither