Supercars: Mixed emotions for Shane Van Gisbergen after Bathurst win

The West Australian
Shane van Gisbergen celebrates at Mount Panorama.
Camera IconShane van Gisbergen celebrates at Mount Panorama. Credit: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Shane Van Gisbergen was on cloud nine today but admitted the aerodynamic set-up of the Supercars vehicles made exciting racing tough to produce.

Van Gisbergen claimed today’s 250km sprint race at Bathurst to make it two-from-two on the championship’s opening weekend.

A pit stop strategy allowed the Red Bull Ampol Racing star to get the jump on Ford’s Cameron Waters in the 40-lap race after the Tickford Racing driver had snatched the lead off the start line from Van Gisbergen.

The New Zealander said without his team finding a way for him to leapfrog Waters via the pit lane, it would have been impossible to try to overtake the Ford driver on the track.

“I’m happy but I’m gutted that we can’t race on track,” Van Gisbergen said.

“I caught up to him, hoped to battle and you’re just getting aero wash so the race is won in the pits.

“It’s awesome to win tactically but you want to put on a show and we just can’t.

“I don’t know, I’m sad but happy as well.”

Passing was at a premium yesterday with Waters finishing second to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointment after a power steering failure wrecked his race.

Holden’s Chaz Mostert, who finished second on Saturday, backed up that performance with a third-place finish to complete a double-podium weekend.

Mostert produced one of the rare clean passes in the race, pouncing on a mistake by Dick Johnson Racing’s Anton De Pasquale to move into third early in the 40-lap event.

De Pasquale, who crashed out of Saturday’s race in his DJR debut, recovered from that mishap to finish fourth.

James Courtney was the only real casualty of an otherwise uneventful race, colliding with a concrete wall at The Cutting on the ninth lap and causing race- ending damage to his Boost Mobile Ford.

Van Gisbergen’s back-to-back wins means he leaves Bathurst - where he has won three straight including last year’s Bathurst 1000 - holding a narrow 33-point lead over Mostert in the championship.

“That’s the best way to do it and with a new engineer as well and a couple of new guys on the car, it’s perfect,” the 2016 championship-winner said.

“I’m stoked and to do it here as well and have some fans back, have an atmosphere, super cool.”

Van Gisbergen’s back-to-back wins means he leaves Bathurst — where he has won three straight including last year’s Bathurst 1000 — holding a narrow 33-point lead over Mostert in the championship.

The next event is the Sandown SuperSprint on March 20-21.

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