Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander have won the Bathurst 1000 in a huge battle of attrition against Cameron Waters and Will Davison, winning by less than one second.
The safety car was deployed twice in the final 10 laps, with the second appearance coming after Zane Goddard hit the wall at Reid Park with just five laps left to race.
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The flurry of late incidents compressed the field, handing Waters multiple chances to find a way past van Gisbergen after he started the race on pole position.
It took some time for track marshals to clear the debris from Goddard’s late wreck, leaving just four laps for Holden driver van Gisbergen to hold off Waters.
The 31-year-old New Zealander was able to do just that, claiming his first victory at Mt Panorama after previously recording two second-place finishes, in 2016 and 2019.
Chaz Mostert and Warren Luff came home in third place.
Safety car incidents were littered throughout the race, while smart driving from van Gisbergen and Davison put them in position to win after starting fourth on the grid.
“Unbelievable conclusion to the race as always,” Neil Crompton told Fox Sports.
Supercars legend Mark Skaife said bringing the safety car out in the dying laps had to happen due to safety concerns.
“Oh my goodness me. This is almost the carbon copy of what happened last year,” Skaife said.
It was a fitting send off for the Holden brand, which is officially leaving the Supercars series after General Motors withdrew support for the iconic Australian brand earlier in 2020.
Speaking after the race, Van Gisbergen paid tribute to the team behind him.
“It’s just awesome,” he said.
“The last few laps were really tough with the safety cars, but the team did a faultless job.
“The car got better all weekend, so thanks to the guys, we had a great car, and a great way to send out Holden.”
Fitting Supercars farewell for Holden with Bathurst 1000 victory
It was an emotional day for the racing category with Holden, one of the cornerstones of the series, pulling out of motorsport with the conclusion of the 2020 season.
In a fitting send-off for the brand, race-winner Van Gisbergen held a Holden flag out the window of his Commodore on his victory lap around Mt Panorama.
It was a popular move among fans, who hailed what had been a thrilling race on social media after the chequered flag.
Van Gisbergen with the Holden flag.— Alex Fair (@AJFair85) October 18, 2020
Such a beautiful, beautiful moment for Holden people. #Bathurst1000
Another epic #Bathurst1000— Alex Fair (@AJFair85) October 18, 2020
Such a brilliant drive from Van Gisbergen after taking advantage in the wet conditions, and a fourth Bathurst win for Tander.
And just brilliant for #Holden to be the ones to get the win.
The result means Commodores have won five of the last six Bathurst 1000s, with only Scott McLaughlin (2019) saluting for Ford since 2015.
It is Holden's last Supercars race in an official capacity before the red lion is retired by General Motors at the end of this year.
Defending champion McLaughlin finished fifth in what could be the Ford superstar's last race in Australia before he begins an IndyCar career.
While van Gisbergen took the chequered flag, it was a disastrous day for star Triple Eight teammate Jamie Whincup, who crashed out on lap-33.
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