Holden hero: SVG breaks Bathurst hoodoo
Shane van Gisbergen is the Bathurst bridesmaid no more.
Erasing a history of Mount Panorama pain, van Gisbergen finally became a Bathurst king when he fended off Ford to be crowned a Holden hero.
In a race that only came alive at the death with a safety car double, van Gisbergen held off Cameron Waters in a thrilling three lap finish to send Holden out a winner.
Perfect for the final 18km after the safety car put him in a one on one fight with Ford, it was a win 14-years in the making.
Bursting onto the scene as the next big thing in 2007, van Gisbergen had - until yesterday - only tasted defeat after seemingly having been struck down by a V8 curse.
Shattered when a failed starter motor robbed him of a win in 2014 and left despondent in 2016 when he came second in the closest competitive finish, van Gisbergen, 31, was also beaten last year by a car that was fined $250,000 for being a cheat.
"Just awesome, the last few laps were really tough," SVG said afterwards.
"Thanks to the guys, a great way to send out Holden. I just wish mum and dad were here. I knew as long as I got through wide at turn 2 with grip it would be OK.
"It's awesome. It's a team effort, when that rain came I was slow but got going and that got us to the front.
"I've come close so many times, you don't start to doubt but you wonder.
Waters finished second as Chaz Mostert claimed third.
Garth Tander co-drove his way to his fourth title.
"The whole team has been fantastic all week," Tander said. "We chipped away at the car, we had a great car, the car was so good.
"When Shane jumped in and watching him go at the end was so impressive to watch. it's a very special place. The intensity of the race was through the roof.
"To stand on the top step is really, really cool."
Originally published as Holden hero: SVG breaks Bathurst hoodoo