Van Gisbergen in perfect form
Monday 22 March, 2021
Images: EDGE Photographics
From the surgery table to repair a broken collarbone weeks ago, to dominating the Sandown SuperSprint in another - it's fair to say Shane van Gisbergen has had a whirlwind month.
The 2016 Champion also joined an exclusive club, becoming just the fourth driver in history to start a season with five straight wins.
The New Zealand ace has not yet been beaten in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship, with five wins from five starts. It is also his sixth straight win following the victory at the season concluding 2020 Bathurst 1000.
Not even nine screws inserted into a broken collarbone two weeks' ago could stop van Gisbergen at Sandown. Sunday afternoon's win in the wet at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint was his 45th career victory.
Full-time Supercars debutant Brodie Kostecki, in just his sixth career race start at the top level, claimed second place - while David Reynolds - in his 350th career race, claimed third and his first podium since switching to the Penrite Ford Mustang at the start of 2021.
Van Gisbergen now sits alongside three Hall of Fame inductees for the best ever start to a season; Allan Moffat (1977), Peter Brock (1980) and Mark Skaife (1994) are the only other drivers in the history of Supercars to have started a season with five or more consecutive wins.
On each of those occasions the driver who won five straight races went on to claim the season's Championship.
The 2016 Supercars Champion now holds a 155 point Championship lead over teammate Jamie Whincup, while Chaz Mostert has slid to third and Cam Waters is fourth, the best of the Ford drivers 170 points behind Van Gisbergen after two rounds.
Earlier today van Gisbergen claimed two pole positions for today's two races and claimed the opening race victory in front of Waters and Whincup.
Drivers and teams will now prepare for the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint, which will run April 10-11 at Symmons Plains.
REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP - PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
Shane van Gisbergen - Red Bull Ampol Racing - 605
Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Ampol Racing - 450
Chaz Mostert - Mobil 1 Appliances Online - 442
Cam Waters - Monster Energy Racing - 435
Mark Winterbottom - IRWIN Racing - 411
Will Davison - Shell V-Power Racing - 377
Andre Heimgartner - Ned's Racing - 326
Nick Percat - R&J Batteries Racing - 317
David Reynolds - Penrite Racing - 316
Brodie Kostecki - Boost Mobile Erebus Racing - 313
Jack Le Brocq - Truck Assist Racing - 286
Bryce Fullwood - Mobil 1 Middys - 283
Todd Hazelwood - Cub Cadet Racing - 273
Scott Pye - DeWalt Racing - 270
Will Brown - Erebus Motorsport - 260
James Courtney - Boost Mobile Racing - 250
Anton De Pasquale - Shell V-Power Racing - 240
Jake Kostecki - Unit Racing - 220
Zane Goddard - Yellow Cover Racing - 218
Fabian Coulthard - Local Legends Racing - 196
Jack Smith - SCT Racing - 182
Garry Jacobson - Team Sydney - 137
Tim Slade - CoolDrive Racing - 136
Macauley Jones - Coca Cola Racing - 134