David Reynolds wins Bathurst 1000, Fabian Coulthard leads championship
David Reynolds has won this year's dramatic Bathurst 1000 in his Erebus Holden, while Fabian Coulthard moves into the lead in the Supercars championship.
It was a disappointing day for the main Kiwis drivers, apart from Coulthard finishing third, as van Gisbergen made a couple of huge mistakes late in the race when it was his for the taking and Scott McLaughlin's car had an engine failure midway through it.
It was a thrilling race, where rain and dry periods continually caused accidents and Reynolds and his co-driver Luke Youlden drove superbly to give Holden their 32nd victory at Mount Panorama. Scott Pye was second across the line, while Coulthard finishing third moved him ahead of Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin in the championship.
Dale Wood and his Kiwi co-driver Chris Pither were fourth, while van Gisbergen was fifth. Andre Heimgartner was ninth across the line, while McLaughlin's car No 17 retired on lap 74.
Rick Kelly beached his Nissan at the Chase with 28 laps to go, so everyone dived into the pits for a final fuel up and van Gisbergen came out in the lead.
Just before a restart following a safety car, with 17 laps to go, a shower came down again and van Gisbergen went off at the final corner.
He battled his way up to third though, but came off again at the Chase and needed to pit. Once more this is a Bathurst 1000 he came desperately close to winning.
But the day belonged to Reynolds, who at times is seen as something of an outsider in the category, a non conformist who often says the wrong thing at the wrong time.
He didn't fit the corporate model at Prodrive Racing Australia, but at the smaller Erebus outfit he's been able to let his personality shine and he's now picked up the biggest win of his life.
The rain came earlier than expected, with light drizzle hitting the 6.213km track as Delta Goodrem sang the Australian national anthem.
It wasn't a great start from McLaughlin, but he drifted to the middle of the track to stay ahead of Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom, who were both just behind him.
However, he made a mistake at Murray's Corner and dropped to sixth and Chaz Mostert went into the lead.
On lap 11 van Gisbergen was fourth, McLaughlin fifth and Coulthard 12th.
By lap 26 everyone had done a pitstop and it was the Reynolds/Luke Youlden entry in front with McLaughlin's co-driver Alex Premat second.
Meanwhile, Richie Stanaway had one of the most impressive driving stints of the race, going from fifth to first by lap 41, revelling in the wet conditions.
Later, Premat reported power problems in his car and the team thought about bringing it into the garage to give it a look over, however they just gave it a once over in pit lane and sent the Frenchman out again.
But the issue wasn't resolved and he was back in again on lap 56 to have the mapping changed and rejoined in ninth.
When Stanaway jumped out of his car on lap 67, he still had a 17-second lead over second placed Reynolds and was naturally delighted with his stint.
"The car was working really well," Stanaway told Stuff.
"I had good grip and the balance was confidence inspiring, which is what you need in these conditions.
"I was't pressing on too hard, because you can't really in these conditions when there was so long to go."
Before the race, Stanaway said he wanted to be able to judge himself against the best in the category.
He certainly did that, driving better than Supercars veterans in atrocious conditions.
"I noticed that there were a few of the main drivers out there and I got past some of them, I seemed to be pretty comfortable out there," he said.
"When it's wet, you've either got pace or you haven't there is no in between and it seemed like the car was working good."
On lap 75, Premat pulled over up the mountain with the engine having failed completely.
McLaughlin was set to jump into the car again in a few laps, but alas he'll have to wait another 12 months for an opportunity to win his first Bathurst 1000.
With 60 laps to go Cameron Walters was still in the lead, with Luke Youlden second and Nick Percat third.
On lap 126 and with the track starting to dry, Chaz Mostert got past Stanaway to take the lead, but significantly for the championship Jamie Whincup had engine problems and finished 20th, managing to get his car on the road at the end of the race for a couple of laps.
Over the final few laps Coulthard overtook Nick Percat to finish third and although he didn't win, he'll be smiling just as much as Reynolds with this result if end makes him the champion at the end of the season.