How van Gisbergen's red hot start ranks

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 07/06/2022
  • By James Pavey

Shane van Gisbergen has made another rocket start to a season as he hunts a third Supercars title.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver heads to Darwin with a 281-point lead over Anton De Pasquale.

The 33-year-old has won races at all five rounds in 2022, and is nearly a full round clear at the top.

It begs the question: just how good has van Gisbergen's 2022 campaign been?

Wins after first 15 races of a season

Two legends still have it over van Gisbergen when it comes to wins.

Only Mark Skaife and Scott McLaughlin have claimed more wins through 15 starts than van Gisbergen.

Van Gisbergen, for the second time in as many years, has won nine of the first 15 races of the season.

The championship leader recorded win No.9 of his title defence at Winton last month.

Skaife won 11 of the first 15 races in 2002 en route to his fifth drivers' championship.

In 2019, McLaughlin also won 11 of the first 15, and added seven more to break Craig Lowndes' season-wins record.

There will be a minimum of 34 races in 2021, meaning van Gisbergen has 19 races to catch McLaughlin’s 2019 benchmark.

McLaughlin also won 13 races in 2020.

One more win for van Gisbergen, and it will have been four straight seasons of a driver winning 10 or more races.

Most wins after first 15 races of a season

Wins Driver Year Team Final wins tally
11 Mark Skaife 2002 Holden Racing Team 15
11 Scott McLaughlin 2019 DJR Team Penske 18
9 Shane van Gisbergen 2022* Triple Eight -
9 Shane van Gisbergen 2021 Triple Eight 14
8 Jamie Whincup 2009 Triple Eight 11
8 Jamie Whincup 2010 Triple Eight 9
8 Scott McLaughlin 2020 DJR Team Penske 13
7 Craig Lowndes 1996 Holden Racing Team 16
7 Marcos Ambrose 2003 Stone Brothers Racing 9
7 Garth Tander 2007 HSV Dealer Team 15

Points scored

When it comes to points scored, van Gisbergen's start to season 2022 is not only his best, but one of the best ever.

Race weekends have offered 300 points since 2008. Just four times has a driver scored 1300 or more points after five rounds, and they've all come in the last four seasons.

McLaughlin topped 1300 points in 2019 and 2020, and van Gisbergen in 2021 and 2022.

Since 2021, bonus points have been awarded for the fastest lap at sprint events.

Van Gisbergen has claimed bonus points six times so far, awarding himself 30 additional points.

Skaife's 1390 points scored after the first five rounds in 2001 is the all-time benchmark.

However, that came under a different points system which included a double-points Adelaide round.

Most points after five rounds (2008-current)

1376: Shane van Gisbergen, 2022*
1361: Shane van Gisbergen, 2021
1346: Scott McLaughlin, 2019
1324: Scott McLaughlin, 2020
1272: Jamie Whincup, 2009
1247: Scott McLaughlin, 2018
1234: Jamie Whincup, 2011
1217: Jamie Whincup, 2013
1216: Will Davison, 2012
1199: Mark Winterbottom, 2014

A season of personal bests

Van Gisbergen's career progression has been on a steady incline ever since he joined Triple Eight in 2016.

However, 2022 bodes to be his best yet; in nearly every metric after five rounds, van Gisbergen has set a personal best this season.

Most wins, most top 10s, most podiums and most points.

There was no greater insight into van Gisbergen's changed mentality than comments made at the last two rounds.

Speaking in Perth, he admitted that, despite having won the lion's share of the races, he was still too inconsistent.

"There’s still too many bad races," he said. "It’s either win or bin, it feels like.

Nine from 15, but van Gisbergen wants more

"Maybe I need to accept second or third sometimes, but winning races is a nice feeling too."

At Winton, he put it into action when he settled for second in the finale behind Cam Waters.

It came after a bold overtake ended in contact and damage to his car a day earlier.

"Getting the fastest lap, you only lose three points, so now that we had that and Andrew [Edwards, race engineer] said not too much risk," he said of Race 15.

"Maybe I didn’t get to him enough anyway, but definitely the last two or three laps I left a bit on the table.

"It’s only a three-point loss at the end of the race.

"I’m conflicted in my own head this weekend… the old Shane would have [had a crack at Waters]."

The 2022 season will resume in Darwin on June 17-19. Purchase your tickets now.

Shane van Gisbergen: Season-by-season after five rounds

Year Races Top 10 Win Top 3 DNF Pole Points Rank
2008 14 6 0 1 1 0 692 11th
2009 10 4 0 0 0 0 729 9th
2010 10 8 0 4 1 0 984 3rd
2011 11 7 1 1 0 0 913 5th
2012 11 7 0 2 0 0 953 5th
2013 16 12 1 3 1 2 907 6th
2014 16 8 1 5 0 1 861 6th
2015 15 10 0 2 0 0 940 5th
2016 11 10 1 3 1 0 997 5th
2017 10 9 3 4 0 2 1023 4th
2018 12 9 2 4 0 4 1089 2nd
2019 12 9 1 4 1 1 1024 3rd
2020 14 11 0 4 1 3** 979 3rd
2021 14 13 8 11 0 4 1361 1st
2022* 15 14 9 12 0 3 1376 1st

*Season ongoing

**Includes pole at cancelled 2020 Beaurepaires Melbourne 400

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