Personally Shane Van Gisbergen is on cloud nine, but the Supercars star admits the aerodynamic set up of the championship’s vehicles is making exciting racing tough to produce.
Van Gisbergen claimed a confident win in Sunday’s 250-kilometre 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 admitted without his team finding a way for him to leapfrog Waters via pit lane, it would have been impossible to try to overtake the Ford star on the track.
‘That middle stint was one of the coolest bits of driving I’ve ever had in a race car’
— Supercars (@supercars) February 28, 2021
“I’m happy, but I’m gutted that we can’t race on track,” Van Gisbergen told Fox Sports.
“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 definitely at a premium in Sunday’s race, with Waters coming home 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.”
The next event on the Supercars calendar is the Sandown SuperSprint on March 20 and 21.