Van Gisbergen wins Supercars opener in SA

Supercars star Shane Van Gisbergen has used a smart pit strategy and superior car speed to win the season-opening race in Adelaide.

He held off Holden's James Courtney and DJR Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin in the 78-lap race.

It's the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver's third win in as many races on the Adelaide street circuit after last year's double victory.

It also means a successful start for Holden's next generation Commodore, which was being raced in Supercars for the first time.

"It's been a pretty good run here the last few years," Van Gisbergen said.

"I'm really enjoying myself ... (the) car was amazing. It's a pretty awesome debut."

Van Gisbergen secured pole position earlier in the day but only after an hour and a half wait after stewards reviewed his lap in the top 10 shootout for exceeding track limits.

While the New Zealander did put his car beyond the approved line, it was found nine of the 10 vehicles had also exceeded the track limits so the results were allowed to stand.

"I was four wheels off the track, that was clear," he said.

"Everyone protested but they didn't check to see if their cars were on the track ... I was expecting to get thrown out but I think it's a good thing they didn't throw eight of us, or whatever it was, out."

Courtney's second place, his first podium since last year's Adelaide event, came with new American co-owner Michael Andretti watching from the garage.

The 37-year-old said it was important result for the newly rebranded Walkinshaw Andretti United team.

"Michael's pretty pumped that it's one-nil over Penske at the moment," Courtney said.

"There's a long way to go. It's the start of a long journey. We've got a lot of stuff that still needs to be cleaned up ... it's exciting to be part of and we've got to keep it going in the right direction."

McLaughlin had led in the race's early stages but admitted he simply didn't have the pace to match the two Holdens.

"We got a good start for once in my life, so we managed to slot into the lead there for a little bit, but yeah, I didn't just have the pace across the stint," the Ford star said.

"I'm happy but I'm going to be a lot happier if we can maybe nudge another podium tomorrow, that'd be fantastic, maybe a win."

Defending champion Jamie Whincup, whose car underwent a 12-hour overnight rebuild after a crash in Friday's qualifying session, finished sixth just behind Ford veteran Mark Winterbottom.

Bathurst 1000 champion David Reynolds was just off the podium in fourth.

The Adelaide 500 wraps up on Sunday with another 250km race.