Van Gisbergen celebrates 'bittersweet' title

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/12/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Newly crowned 2021 champion Shane van Gisbergen says it feels "bittersweet" to have missed out on defending his Bathurst crown.

Van Gisbergen officially won the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

It could have been an even sweeter title victory had van Gisbergen retained his position at the end of the race.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing ace fell out of contention in the closing laps of an enthralling Great Race, suffering a puncture with just eight laps remaining. 

Van Gisbergen's misfortune released Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Chaz Mostert, who went on to to seal his second Bathurst win.

Van Gisbergen slowed climbing the mountain and was passed by Cameron Waters and Brodie Kostecki, who went on to fill the podium.

The New Zealander limped the #97 Red Bull Ampol Commodore back to pit lane and was classified 18th.

Kostecki brushed the wall at McPhillamy trying to overtake a slow van Gisbergen.

With the Repco Bathurst 1000 being the final round of the 2021 season, van Gisbergen's title became official - but it wasn't the fairytale finish he wanted.

"It's bittersweet you know, I was really trying to win that race," van Gisbergen said.

"But congrats to Chaz and Leeroy [Holdsworth] and the team, they were super fast and gave it everything, but we just couldn't quite hold it together.

"Other than that the year’s been awesome otherwise, I’ve got to thank all these legends [Red Bull Ampol Racing], it's been a really, really good year otherwise and we will be drinking a few out of this [trophy] tonight.

"I wish my family was here and all my friends as well, and I wish I could go home to celebrate, but I've been locked out of my own country which sucks.

"But it was awesome to race here and to have all the fans back, the atmosphere here was awesome, so yeah, I loved every minute."

Van Gisbergen finished 221 points ahead of second-placed teammate Jamie Whincup in the points standings. 

The two-time champion claimed 14 wins, nine podiums, and six ARMOR ALL Pole Positions.

The 13-event 2022 Repco Supercars Championship will commence in Newcastle next year. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

The 13-round draft calendar was released on Sunday.

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