Waters was leading, effectively and nominally, when he took his first pit stop, and did re-enter the race track ahead of his nearest rival in the #97 Triple Eight Race Engineering entry.
However, van Gisbergen, who pitted a lap earlier, was close enough such that he had the momentum and tyre temperature to breeze past the #6 Monster Energy Mustang up Mountain Straight.
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The New Zealander immediately put the hammer down and drove the race away from Waters, who eventually finished over six seconds behind in second spot in the conclusion to the opening event of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.
Furthermore, the two had been separated by about 1.2s when van Gisbergen peeled off to take service for the first time.
According to Waters, Tickford did not anticipate that it would put him in such a situation.
Asked post-race if there had been any discussion about the strategy, he responded, “A little bit.
“I think where I came out wasn't where they expected me to come out, so they'll dive into that, what happened and why.
“Hindsight's a wonderful thing; if you could change it, you would.”
Van Gisbergen did not attack Waters in the opening stint, but used the clean air which he enjoyed in the second to blaze away from the #6 Mustang and make the race his to lose.
The eventual runner-up was not sure if he would have won had he not fallen behind following his first pit stop, but did not discount the possibility.
“It's so hard to follow and that first stint, I was kind of trying to look after my tyres and towards the end probably had a bit more pace than Shane,” recalled Waters.
“But when it was flipped the other way, Shane's car's probably better in clean air than what mine was in clean air. I think Shane had a faster car than me today, for sure.
“If I could come out in front of him, would it have been a different story? Maybe, it's hard to tell, but I would have loved to find out.”
One positive for last year's championship runner-up was his start, which he described as “mega” after being able to clear Car #97 before they braked for Hell Corner.
“My initial [launch] was pretty well the same as Shane's and my secondary [launch] was amazing,” declared Waters.
“It actually surprised me. Really good start, which obviously set up the start of the race for me.
“[I was] just kind of racing my own race in that first stint and then obviously it all played out the way it did.”
Waters' second placing in Race 2 followed a result of 20th, the last classified finisher, the day prior after suffering a power steering problem.
He sits sixth in the drivers' standings after the first event, 117 points behind leader van Gisbergen, on the way to the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint on March 20-21.