Shane van Gisbergen has wrapped up his second Supercars championship ahead of the final round, allowing him to focus on getting another Bathurst 1000 win.
The Kiwi heads into the final round 349 points ahead of teammate Jamie Whincup who sits second in the championship, with only 300 points on offer at the grand finale.
Without the pressure of maintaining a championship lead, van Gisbergen and his Red Bull Ampol Racing team can focus solely on getting back to back wins in The Great Race after securing the win last year.
Van Gisbergen was asked by Motorsport.com about the pressure of Bathurst.
“None, anymore,” van Gisbergen said.
“It’s good, I can relax about it now. I can have a couple days to let this soak in and then focus on Bathurst.”
Garth Tander is set to join ‘SVG’ for Bathurst as one of only two driver pairings to carry over from last year, the only other pairing to remain the same is that of Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
“I think the most relieved guy is Garth. It’s tough for the co-drivers, they haven’t done enough miles, any of them. For him to just go and do his own prep and build up as he goes… even in the race he can get more comfortable and focus on winning.”
With the title fight wrapped up, van Gisbergen believes it will help his chances to take back to back wins at the mountain.
“For us, we’re not going to have to strategise around staying out of trouble. We are going there purely for the race win with both cars.
“It will be more intense, probably, going for the win. But it will be more enjoyable.”
SVG and Tander are heading into Bathurst as favourites to take the win this year after van Gisbergen took both race wins at the sprint round there at the start of the season.
The Bathurst 1000 is December 5, with action at the track kicking off from November 30.
Main image: Edge Photographics