Shane van Gisbergen can join Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup by winning the V8 title with an entire round still to be run. But winning this weekend also means much more further up the road.
Only a Sydney shocker can stop Shane van Gisbergen from taking out the Supercars title this weekend with the Red Bull racer just three clean races away from winning his second crown.
On what is shaping as a dramatic weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park (SMP) after a double vaccinated Dave Reynolds was cleared to make his return, van Gisbergen could also join legends like Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup by winning the championship with an entire round still to be run.
Following a year of domination where he has led the championship since the very first race, van Gisbergen only has to finish in front of Jamie Whincup to replace Scott McLaughlin as the V8 king.
“I don’t think like that,” van Gisbergen said. “There is still a lot of work to do.”
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Despite playing down his championship chance, van Gisbergen is so far in front that he could completely crash out of this weekend’s Sydney Super Night and still head into the season ending Bathurst 1000 with a championship lead.
The Red Bull Ampol driver is 337 points in front of his nearest rival, which just happens to be his teammate Jamie Whincup.
“The gap may seem big but it is not really,” van Gisbergen said.
“If Jamie wins Bathurst, that is 300 points alone so I have to keep focused and keep on trying to win points.”
Sealing the title in Sydney this weekend, where there will be two 150 points races, would allow van Gisbergen to go all out on the attack at Mount Panorama.
Van Gisbergen will be looking to defend his title after breaking through to claim his first Bathurst 1000 win last year.
“Obviously, we have a pretty quick car this year and the same combination as last year,” van Gisbergen said.
“So we have as good a chance as anyone, but there are some fast cars this year.
“I‘m looking forward to it, we missed fans there last year, so having the atmosphere of the people camping and walking around the track every night is pretty cool.
“Even all the atmosphere at the races we‘ve been at so far as well, it’s been so good to have the fans back.“
Van Gisbergen may want to avoid Reynolds this weekend after the Ford star was cleared to after being double vaccinated.
Reynolds missed two races after being extradited from NSW with a medical clearance to be in the state despite being unvaccinated against Covid was revoked.
“Kelly Grove Racing is pleased to announce that David Reynolds will be returning for Round Eleven of the Supercars Championship this weekend,” his team said in a statement.
“David is fully vaccinated and has fulfilled the requirements by NSW Health and Supercars to participate in this season‘s penultimate event.
“Kelly Grove Racing would like to thank Luke Youlden for the phenomenal job he has done in David’s absence, and we are excited to have him back with us at the Bathurst 1000 early next month.”
Originally published as V8 Supercars: Latest race results, news from Sydney SuperSprint; Shane van Gisbergen’s title bid