The missing link amid SVG's strong Sydney record

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/10/2021
  • By James Pavey

For all of Shane van Gisbergen’s successes, there’s one milestone he has yet to crack.

Repco Supercars Championship points leader van Gisbergen has never taken an ARMOR ALL Pole Position at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The Eastern Creek venue will host the next four events of season 2021.

There will be 11 different opportunities for Red Bull Ampol Racing ace van Gisbergen to claim his first SMSP pole.

A total of 13 drivers have taken pole at the circuit, with Scott McLaughlin the overwhelming leader.

McLaughlin claimed a SMSP record 10 poles, four of them coming across the two events in 2020.

Last year, McLaughlin also lowered the practice/qualifying lap record to a 1:27.7428s.

Marcos Ambrose, Mark Skaife and Chaz Mostert took four poles apiece, with John Bowe and Jamie Whincup on three.

Craig Lowndes took two poles, with Dick Johnson, Glenn Seton, Peter Brock, Todd Kelly and Garth Tander claiming an SMSP pole in their time.

Last year, Andre Heimgartner joined the party with his maiden ARMOR ALL Pole Position coming at the second SMSP event.

It’s not as though success at SMSP has eluded van Gisbergen. He has won four races there, including the 300km night race in 2018.

His four wins came from grid spots of sixth and fourth (2014), second (2016) and third (2018).

In 22 starts at SMSP, van Gisbergen has finished in the top 10 positions 15 times, 10 of them in the top five.

Only Whincup (12), Craig Lowndes (10), Skaife (8) and McLaughlin (7) recorded more SMSP podiums than the Kiwi.

Van Gisbergen has taken five poles in 2021

Of the venues on the 2021 calendar, only SMSP and The Bend Motorsport Park remain untouched when it comes to van Gisbergen poles.

Van Gisbergen has qualified second six times at SMSP; four instances came across the two 2020 events.

In fact, van Gisbergen has qualified on the first two rows at SMSP 13 times from 22 starts - but has never taken pole.

Van Gisbergen will arrive in Sydney with a narrow lead in the fight for the ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award.

The 32-year-old has taken five poles in 2021, with Cameron Waters and Anton De Pasquale behind him on four apiece.

Whincup and Will Davison have taken two each, with Mostert and Heimgartner on one each.

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship will continue at next weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight. Tickets for all four upcoming Sydney events are on sale now.

All sessions will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and streamed via Kayo. The Seven Network will broadcast live from 3:30pm AEDT on Saturday and 12:30pm AEDT on Sunday.

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