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Will Davison converts pole to victory in opening Sandown SuperSprint race

Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Will Davison has scored a dominant victory in the opening race of the Sandown SuperSprint this afternoon.

Davison led from start-to-finish in taking his second victory of the season after confirming his re-signing earlier this week.

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen was forced to defend from Davison’s teammate Anton De Pasquale after the pit stops, but held off his title rival to take second.

Polesitter Davison won the start resoundingly as van Gisbergen fended off the advances of Brown entering Turn 1 leading to the Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang being nearly a second clear.

Although there was the usual hustle and bustle at the start, the field made it through to Turn 9 until van Gisbergen’s rookie teammate Broc Feeney was spun after contact with the R&J Batteries Brad Jones Racing Commodore of Andre Heimgartner. The Kiwi was penalised 15s for his involvement.

The race settled down into a rhythm as Davison continued to lead van Gisbergen by 0.754s on lap 7 as Brown maintained third from De Pasquale and Castrol Racing’s Thomas Randle.

A big mover was Cameron Waters, who qualified in 12th driving the Monster Energy Racing Ford Mustang as he progressed to sixth with the leaders set to pit.

First to enter the lane was De Pasquale on lap 13 pursuing the undercut as crucially he emerged 13s behind last of the non-stoppers Jack Smith.

Proof of the undercut working effectively for the Shell V-Power Racing Team came when De Pasquale not only overtook Brown, but moved closer to van Gisbergen in second.

On lap 17, van Gisbergen pitted and Davison stayed out in an opposite strategy Red Bull Ampol Racing had affected previously. It came to nil as when Davison pitted a lap later and remained in front.

In race 500, Lee Holdsworth led until pitting on lap 2, though a slow stop followed due to a slow exit from his boom.

Now in front, Davison was 4s clear of van Gisbergen as the battle for second continue to tighten between the championship leader and De Pasquale, while Brown remained in touch despite locking up at Turn 9.

Focus during the closing laps was placed firmly on the battle for fourth as Brown tried to hold off Waters, Courtney, Pye, Winterbottom and Randle.

Waters locked up a brake approaching the penultimate corner on lap 35, with the Mustang contacting Brown’s Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Commodore. Further angst occurred at Turn 4 on the final lap as Brown ran the Monster Energy Racing Mustang wide as the latter held onto fourth in the end.

It was an 8s victory for Davison from van Gisbergen, De Pasquale, Brown and a frustrated Waters, who advanced seven positions.

Courtney, Pye, Randle and Mobil 1 Optus Racing’s Chaz Mostert completed the top 10.

There were no retirements as Coca Cola PremiAir Racing’s Chris Pither was forced to pit again for a deflated tyre.

Two races remain for the Sandown SuperSprint tomorrow as Shane van Gisbergen holds a 401 point lead from De Pasquale.

Repco Supercars Championship action begins at 10:55am AEST for Race 25 qualifying.