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Whincup claims Gold Coast win

NZN 23/10/2016 Laine Clark

What a difference a fortnight makes.

Holden's Jamie Whincup is the toast of Supercars after claiming Sunday's Gold Coast 600 final race, keeping alive his hopes of an unprecedented seventh series title.

Whincup finished nine seconds ahead of Holden teammate Shane van Gisbergen with Volvo's Scott McLaughlin third in the second and final 300km race on the tourist strip.

Not so long ago it was a different story.

The Holden star was painted as the villain after his team protested a time penalty that cost him a fifth Bathurst 1000 win two weeks ago.

Whincup crossed the line first at Mount Panorama but was relegated to 11th due to the penalty.

Their failed appeal rose the eyebrows of critics, including Supercars boss James Warburton who described it as "un-Australian".

But it seems all is forgiven for Whincup.

He went from zero to hero on Sunday with his eighth Gold Coast win.

"I wasn't out here to make amends for what happened a fortnight ago," Whincup said of his Mount Panorama drama.

"The criticism (after Bathurst) didn't really affect me. It did upset my team and family a little bit though.

"But I was having too much fun to worry about what the minority think.

"And after the drama at Bathurst it was good to see everyone was still driving hard here - nothing had changed, it was go hard or go home."

Whincup reduced van Gisbergen's Supercars series lead to 148 points with two rounds - and a potential 600 points - left this year after a popular victory on the treacherous Gold Coast street circuit dubbed "concrete canyon".

Asked about his title hopes, Whincup said: "We've had some bad luck the last couple of rounds so it will be a tall ask from here but we will race hard until the last lap in the last round in Sydney."

However, van Gisbergen did enough to claim the 2016 Enduro Cup with co-driver Alex Premat after also winning Saturday's opening 300km race.

Flying Kiwi van Gisbergen had claimed he would not open up on his title hopes until after the Gold Coast round and finally broke his silence after collecting the Enduro Cup with Frenchman Premat.

"I have to talk about it now don't I? But look, anything can happen. We just have to make sure there are no mistakes from now on," he said.

Only two cars in the 25-strong field failed to finish in a largely incident free second race that featured just one safety car.

Even Ford's Fabian Coulthard completed the 102 lap event despite his Falcon all but being written off in a race one incident with Holden's Garth Tander on Saturday.

Remarkably his DJR Team Penske outfit worked throughout the night to ensure Coulthard fronted for race two qualifying on Sunday morning.

Coulthard finished 15th in race two.

Tander was 11th after copping a 10 spot grid penalty for the spectacular Coulthard crash.

The next round will be held in Auckland from November 4.

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