Shane van Gisbergen has added to one of the most unique victory streaks in Supercars history, having swept the Repco Mount Panorama 500 weekend earlier today.
It means van Gisbergen has won three Supercars races in a row, including last year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with Garth Tander.
Widening scope beyond the Supercars, the Kiwi was also able to nab four superb wins on home soil in the interim in the form of the Battle of Jack’s Ridge rallysprint event and each race of the New Zealand Grand Prix weekend in January.
With a full 300 points in hand after round one, van Gisbergen leaves Mount Panorama with a commanding championship lead over Chaz Mostert — compounded by DNFs from title rivals Cameron Waters and Anton De Pasquale earlier in the weekend.
“That’s a team win, a strategy win,” van Gisbergen said of his Sunday win.
“The car was awesome, unfortunately we couldn’t battle on track so we had to try and win it in pit-lane and we did. That middle stint was just insane, it’s so cool to get such a good car and just push in clean air.”
Van Gisbergen put in a crushing middle stint after stealing away the race lead from Waters following the first pit-stop cycle. This was underlined by a string of 2min 06sec laps that van Gisbergen later said was some of the best racing he’s ever experienced.
“[David] Cauchi just asked me to make the gap, and normally [at Bathurst] you’re managing tyres,” van Gisbergen said.
“I only had eight laps to do on those tyres, so qualifying laps the whole time and watching a sub-par energy drink get smaller in the mirror was pretty cool,” he added, in cheeky reference to Waters’ Monster backing.
Speaking briefly about the championship, van Gisbergen noted his ongoing learnings with new-for-2021 engineer David Cauchi and consistency throughout the season will be important to staying at the front.
“A new engineer relationship and just starting again … we’ve just got to keep chipping away and not make any mistakes, and be there every weekend. That’s the key.”