van Gisbergen begins Supercars season with solid win

Saturday 05 March, 2022
Photos: Edge Photographics/Supercars
Reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has drawn first blood in 2022 after victory in the opening race of the Beaurepaires Sydney Supersprint. 
In what proved to be a battle of pit strategy, van Gisbergen began his title defence in style as he comfortably beat Anton De Pasquale, with Triple Eight Racing opting to run a three-stop strategy.
Just like last year’s Beaurepaires Sydney Cup, it was van Gisbergen and De Pasquale who were the two major players in the battle for the victory.  
And once again it was De Pasquale who enjoyed a better start of the two, securing pole position after a brilliant run in qualifying and the top 10 shootout. 
However, when it came to the race itself, the reigning champion again proved why he is the title favourite, producing brilliant pace throughout the final third of the 77-lap race.
The first of the contenders to pit, van Gisbergen eventually worked his way to the front of the field by the 27th lap and extended the gap as the race went on. 
The Kiwi was in fantastic form and led for much of the race, only losing the lead briefly as he made his pit stops. After the three stops, van Gisbergen worked his way back to the front before eventually crossing the finish line almost 20 seconds ahead of De Pasquale. 

"It's a team win, I had no idea what was happening in the middle of the race," van Gisbergen said.

"Awesome job by the team, and pretty lucky the weather held out.

"It's a great way to start, but it's a long year ahead."
Although he didn’t win the race after starting from pole and suffered from a difficult middle stint, De Pasquale still enjoyed the best start of his career and secured a podium in the first race for the first time.
Also claiming a good start to the season was Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert, who secured the final podium place after passing Will Brown with just five laps to go.
It was a thrilling end to the race for the final podium position, as Brown tried his hardest to hold off Mostert but couldn’t due to his significantly older tyres.

Click here to view the full results. 
The young gun ended up losing more positions by the chequered flag as Will Davison, Erebus teammate Brodie Kostecki and Nick Percat slipped past him in the final laps. 
With De Pasquale finishing second and his teammate Will Davison in fourth, Shell V Power Racing ended the first race day of the 2022 Repco Supercars on top of the Constructors' championship.
The Beaurepaires Sydney Supersprint continues tomorrow with the second 250km race at 2:30pm AEDT tomorrow
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