HE came within a second of victory on two previous occasions and had the Peter Brock Trophy cruelly snatched away six years ago by a mechanical issue but nothing was going to stop Shane van Gisbergen from taking out this year's edition of the Bathurst 1000.
Van Gisbergen soared to the front of the field one third of the way through Sunday's race, showing off his wet weather prowess in the process, and from there the New Zealander never surrendered that lead.
The Triple Eight Racing driver put several heartbreaking moments at Mount Panorama behind him with his maiden victory, while his co-driver Garth Tander claimed his fourth Bathurst 1000 crown.
Cam Waters pushed hard for victory over the final stint of racing but couldn't reel in van Gisbergen - even with two late safety cars bringing the field back together inside the last 10 laps.
Chaz Mostert survived a late push from DJR Team Penske duo Fabian Coulthard and Supercars Championship winner Scott McLaughlin to hold onto third place.
Van Gisbergen was elated to finally lift the trophy at Bathurst after coming agonisingly close on several occasions.
"It's awesome. The last few laps were really tough with the safety cars but the team did a fantastic job. The car got better all weekend. It's a great way to send out Holden. Garth did an excellent job," he said.
"I knew as long as I got through turn two that I would be fine [in the battle with Waters]. Each time there he got pretty close, but we got through the turn with pretty good grip. Those last three stints were all qualifying laps.
"It was a real track position race. It was super hard to pass. When that rain came I was a bit slow at the start but then I got going and that got us to the front, and we never left it.
It feels awesome to finally win this race, and I can't wait to get back home to celebrate it.Shane van Gisbergen after winning his maiden Bathurst 1000
"It feels awesome to finally win this race, and I can't wait to get back home to celebrate it."
The early portion of the race was dominated by McLaughlin and his co-driver Tim Slade but a change in weather would bring van Gisbergen's #97 entry into the mix.
Van Gisbergen's defining moment came during a brief downpour at the top of the Mount where, on lap 56, he made a pass on Waters' co-driver Will Davison in challenging conditions to take the lead.
The Triple Eight and Tickford Racing entries then spent the majority of the event duelling at the head of the pack.
They exited from their last pit stop with 19 laps to go and with Waters almost touching the rear of van Gisbergen's Commodore.
After Waters initially threatened to pass several times on the first couple of laps out of pit lane, Van Gisbergen started to assert his dominance.
He pulled just over two seconds clear before a safety car quickly erased that margin.
Just as van Gisbergen was building his lead up another safety car brought everyone back together once more and left drivers with a three lap sprint to the finish.
Van Gisbergen was cool as ice, clocking the fastest lap of the day (2:05.6412) on the penultimate loop around the Mount to make Holden's last Bathurst 1000 one to remember.
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...