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Shane van Gisbergen takes exhibition victories

LAINE CLARK
Last updated 17:24 14/03/2014

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Flying Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen made it back to back wins at the V8 Supercars exhibition round at the Australian Grand Prix with victory in race two on Friday.

After outgunning the field to claim the opening 10-lap event at the non-championship round by more than six seconds, the Holden driver was again never headed as he claimed line honours at Albert Park.

Van Gisbergen finished more than half a second ahead of V8 series leader Craig Lowndes in the 12-lap second race while fellow Holden driver Fabian Coulthard was third.

Nissan's Michael Caruso was fourth with Volvo's young gun Scott McLaughlin fifth.

Hobbled by a five grid spot penalty after a memorable race one tussle for second with McLaughlin, five-time V8 champ Jamie Whincup was seventh.

Earlier, van Gisbergen streaked away from the field to win the opening 10-lap sprint, finishing more than six seconds ahead of Whincup and Volvo surprise packet McLaughlin.

Van Gisbergen's pace ensured the result was a no brainer after jumping pole sitter Caruso, who finished fourth.

However, the V8 faithful at the Formula One season opener were enthralled by Whincup and McLaughlin picking up where they left off from the recent Adelaide opening round as they battled for second.

McLaughlin, 20, won over the Adelaide crowd when he outgunned Whincup to celebrate Volvo's first sighting in Australian touring cars in 28 years to claim a podium finish.

Dropping the f-bomb on live television while reflecting on his second placing ahead of Whincup also endeared himself to the local Adelaide petrol heads.

And McLaughlin and Whincup were at it again in Melbourne on Friday, going toe-to-toe for second as van Gisbergen left the field in his wake.

Whincup received a bad sportsmanship flag early - and as a result a five grid spot penalty - after squeezing McLaughlin onto the grass on the inside of the main straight.

Eventually age overcame youth as Whincup emerged triumphant, finishing almost a second ahead of the excitable McLaughlin in the runner-up battle.

McLaughlin's speed will only add to speculation that the new Volvos have an aerodynamic advantage.

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- AAP

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