Holden Commodore team scores emotional sendoff victory with Bathurst 1000

Bathurst 1000 results
Mark Horsburgh/Edge Photographics via Getty Images

BATHURST, Australia — Shane van Gisbergen drove his Holden Commodore to victory in the Bathurst 1000 results in an emotional end Sunday to the marque’s formal involvement in Australia’s greatest motor race.

Holdens have contested the 1000 kilometer (600 mile) endurance race on the picturesque Mount Panorama circuit in New South Wales state since 1968, achieving a record 34 wins — 27 by Commodores — while fierce rivals Ford have 21.

In doing so, they have achieved almost cult status among Australian motorsports fans. But maker General Motors has decided to wind up the Holden marque from the end of the year and, while current Supercars teams will race their existing cars again next season, Sunday’s race signaled the end of an era.

General Motors will continue in touring car racing next year with its Chevrolet Camaro.

New Zealand-born van Gisbergen overcame two safety cars in the last eight laps to hold out the challenge of Cameron Waters in a Ford Mustang and to win the race for the first time after finishing runner-up in 2016 and 2017. The win was also a triumph for co-driver Garth Tander and the Red Bull Holden team.

In a strategic finish van Ginsbergen and Waters, whose co-driver was Will Davison, pitted together but van Gisbergen managed to stay ahead, winning by 0.86 seconds. He turned in some of his fastest laps of the day in the last stages of the race.

Shane van Gisbergen (right) and Garth Tander celebrated after winning the Bathurst 1000 (Mark Horsburgh/Edge Photographics via Getty Images).

“It’s just awesome,” van Gisbergen said. “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.

“It’s a great way to send out Holden.”

Scott McLaughlin, who was named the recipient of the Barry Sheene medal, finished fifth, and teammate Fabian Coulthard took fourth, wrapping up the team championship for DJR Team Penske.

McLaughlin, who has won three consecutive Supercars drivers championships, hopped on a plane after the race to fly to the United States. He will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut Oct. 25 with Penske in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.