Van Gisbergen, along with teammates Jonathan Webb and Alvaro Parente, started from pole position for the 12-Hour endurance classic, but the team was forced to claw its way back from a pit lane speeding penalty at the 10h10m mark.
The 650S also came to an unexplained halt at one stage during the race, with Parente having to ‘reset’ the car to refire the engine.
“It was a pretty long day - the first stint was really awesome, I really enjoyed myself out there,” Van Gisbergen said.
“I had never driven around here in the dark and we didn’t have our big lights on so couldn’t see much. I had a good agreement with Garth [Tander] and [Warren Luff] in the morning, that we would just cruise along and then after three laps we would start pushing once it was all up to temperature.”
Van Gisbergen said he returned to his hotel room in the middle of the race during a lengthy break from driving duties to “chill out”.
The Nissan team welcomed local driver Rick Kelly back into the fold following last year’s date-clash with the official V8 Supercar test day, while Florian Strauss and Chiyo completed the driver line-up.
Rounding out the podium was Bentley Team M Sport with the #10 Continental GT3 of Steven Kane, Guy Smith and Matt Bell.
Throughout the 12 hours of racing, the lead changed no less than 29 times (a new record) with eight different cars seeing the front of the field at some stage.
The safety car was required on thirteen occasions, six fewer than last year, but the final hour was run almost entirely without interruption.
Records also fell for total distance covered, with the 297 laps completed by the leaders eclipsing the previous record set in 2014 by one lap.
A new lap record was set by Van Gisbergen at 2m01.567s, less than three tenths slower than his 2m01.286s qualifying time.
Four cars were on the lead lap when the chequered flag came out, and there were 20 classified finishers from a field of 36. More than 1844km were clocked-up in the 12 hours with the 1000km mark reached during the seventh hour.
Competitors and fans (a three-day crowd of 37,079, up 15 percent on 2015) were spared another hot Bathurst summer’s day for this year’s event, with the temperature kept to 27 degrees thanks in part to a cool breeze.
In the class battle, the #59 McLaren took out Class A Professional thanks to its outright victory, while Class A Amateur was claimed by the #5 Taylor/Mawer/Antunes GT Motorsport Audi R8-LMS in sixth place outright.
Class B was won by the #4 Grove/McLaughlin/Bamber Grove Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (12th outright), while the invitational Class I was taken out by the #93 Camilleri/Haber/Seton MARC Cars Australia Focus V8 (13th outright).
Photography: Rhys Vandersyde.
RESULTS - OUTRIGHT
- #59 (Class A-Pro) - Tekno Autosports - McLaren 650S - Van Gisbergen/Parente/Webb - 297 laps
- #1 (Class A-Pro) - Nissan Motorsports NISMO - Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 - Kelly/Chiyo/Strauss - 297 laps
- #10 (Class A-Pro) - Bentley Team M Sport - Bentley Continental GT3 - Kane/Smith/Bell - 297 laps
- #2 (Class A-Pro) - Phoenix Racing - Audi R8-LMS - Winkelhock/Vanthoor/Davison - 297 laps
- #36 (Class A-Pro) - Erebus Motorsport - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 - Reynolds/Jaeger/Bastian - 296 laps
- #5 (Class A-Am) - GT Motorsport - Audi R8-LMS - Taylor/Mawer/Antunes - 294 laps
- #31 (Class A-Pro) - Bentley Team M Sport - Bentley Continental GT3 - Soucek/Soulet/Russell - 293 laps
- #75 (Class A-Pro) - Jamec Pem Racing - Audi R8-LMS - McLaughlin/Rast/Tander - 293 laps
- #60 (Class A-Pro) - Tekno Autosports - McLaren 650S - Bell/Watson/Davison - 292 laps
- #32 (Class A-Am) - JBS Australia - Lamborghini Gallardo - Lago/Youlden/Owen - 291 laps
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