Melbourne V8 Supercars Challenge Recap

It was a big weekend of racing, as the V8s hit Melbourne for the Coates Hire V8 Supercars Challenge at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The weekend's showcase was dominated by Kiwi driver Shane van Gisbergen, who won three of the four races across the meeting at Albert Park.

Although there were no championship points up for grabs, there are a lot of positives to take away for Red Bull Racing, who won all four races over the three day showcase.

Friday's action was highlighted by the power Red Bull - as the duo of van Gisbergen and Whincup finished one-two in race one, with Supercheap Auto Racing's Chaz Mostert snatching the final podium position.

It was Mostert's second podium finish since his five month absense from V8 Supercar action, after a horrifying crash in the Bathurst 1000 saw him sidelined with a broken leg and broken wrist.

In the second race of the day, it was more of the same from the Red Bull duo. Van Gisbergen and Whincup again looked to finish as the top two, as wet, patchy conditions made it difficult for the rest of the field to catch them.

However, veteran Craig Lowndes made a strong push through the pack. After starting race two in seventh place, he found himself in hot pursuit of Whincup for second place. 

In a wild finish, the Team Vortex Commodore of Lowndes managed to pass Whincup on the final lap of the race to take out second. Van Gisbergen roared ahead to win his second race of the day, leaving Whincup to finish third.

It was more of the same in race three. The trio of van Gisbergen, Lowndes and Whincup again filled the podium, but this time it was Whincup who was the victor. He dominated the race and finished over 6 seconds ahead of his teammate van Gisbergen, who held off Lowndes to finish in second.

Rain was again a factor on Saturday. Tricky conditions saw the cars sliding around on slick tyres during the downpour, and Prodrive Racing's Cameron Waters was given a pit-lane penalty due to wiping out Will Davison.

As Sunday rolled around, the track managed to stay dry and it was Red Bull's Van Gisbergen who managed to take out the race, with Kiwi compatriot Fabian Coulthard of DJR Team Penske finishing in second place and Lowndes in third.

Jamie Whincup was looking to make it four podium finishes over the weekend, but his Red Bull came to a halt only three laps into the race, which allowed van Gisbergen to cruise away from the field and into the distance to win his third race of the weekend.