All-out assault SVG not serious about title ‘in any respect’
Runaway sequence chief Shane van Gisbergen was adamant he isn’t serious about the championship after a trio of daring performances in Townsville.
Van Gisbergen prolonged his sequence lead over Crimson Bull Ampol Racing teammate Jamie Whincup to a season-high 276 factors on the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.
The 32-year-old acquired his elbows out in all three races, and was penalised throughout Saturday’s Race 17 following contact with Brodie Kostecki.
He arrived on Sunday with fireplace within the stomach, and returned to defeat Whincup in an absorbing Race 18 battle to clinch an eleventh win of the season.
Van Gisbergen saved his most daring efficiency of the weekend till final, with the 2016 champion pushing Cameron Waters all the way in which in an exciting Race 19 battle.
So excessive was the arrogance of Waters after the race, that the Ford driver mentioned he believes he can nonetheless beat van Gisbergen to the 2021 crown.
Requested after the race if he had the title struggle on his thoughts, van Gisbergen was adamant he was going into each race to win, fairly than shield his factors lead.
“Does it appear to be I’m serious about the championship?” he laughed.
“I’m making an attempt to win each race.
“There’s a protracted approach to go, and the lead’s nowhere close to 300 factors I don’t suppose, and Bathurst is price that.
“I’m not serious about it in any respect, I’m simply making an attempt to win each race.”
By no means one to draw back from a battle, van Gisbergen has taken a number of dangers en path to constructing a sizeable factors lead.
Notably, he put the whole lot on the road to win the Sandown opener from seventeenth, averted the Race 10 first-lap chaos at The Bend after beginning thirteenth, made a daring cross on Anton De Pasquale within the Darwin opener, and defeated Whincup twice on observe within the first Townsville occasion.
It was poor timing with the mid-race Security Automobile deployment in Sunday’s finale, nonetheless, which introduced him undone after passing Waters for the lead on lap 5.
The complexion of the race modified when the Security Automobile was deployed following a lap 18 accident for Macauley Jones.
On the time, van Gisbergen led Waters by 1.6s, and instantly dived into the lane for full his obligatory cease.
Waters, Todd Hazelwood and Nick Percat stayed out, and managed to beat the Security Automobile itself to the timing line.
The Tickford Racing driver was in a position to full one other lap at full pace earlier than taking his cease and grabbed the lead again.
Will Davison cut up Waters and van Gisbergen on account of his shorter cease on lap 13.
“The Security Automobile was a bit gutting,” van Gisbergen mentioned.
“I got here round [Turn] 11 and noticed the man with the board begin to come out.
“I ducked in, which is often the best factor to do.
“And as I come out onto the entrance straight, he’s sitting there with the yellow lights on in the midst of Flip 1, which is inaccurate.
“That was a little bit little bit of a disgrace, however we wouldn’t have had the battle if that didn’t occur.”
It arrange a grandstand end between Waters and van Gisbergen, who after clearing Davison, tried to no avail to displace the #6 Monster Power Mustang.
Waters clung to the lead by his fingertips, and denied van Gisbergen win No. 12 of 2021 by simply 0.8s.
Each drivers loved the battle, with van Gisbergen admitting ending second wasn’t too bitter a tablet to swallow within the wake of such an thrilling stoush.
“It was simply an superior race,” he mentioned.
“I gave him the thumbs-up down the straight, and I noticed on TV he gave it again. It was cool enjoyable.
“Coming second isn’t that good, however whenever you do it after a battle like that, it’s fairly cool.”