Reigning Bathurst 1000 winner Shane van Gisbergen claimed his first victory in the Repco Pro Eseries on Tuesday evening, in one of the most entertaining nights of racing in the series’ short history.
The win etched the 2016 Supercars champion into the record books as the first ever driver to claim wins in the Supercars Championship, BP All Stars Eseries and the Repco Pro Eseries.
The 31-year old Kiwi claimed victory in the opening race of the night on the virtual Charlotte Speedway oval circuit, the same circuit he claimed a win in in the BP All Stars Eseries earlier this year.
Pioneer DJ Racing’s Brady Meyers started from the Qoin Pole Position after a perfect qualifying lap but was overrun in the opening laps by a small pack that included van Gisbergen.
The wildcard entry in tonight’s races held off the Brad Jones Racing duo of Jake Burton and Madison Down to claim the win by just 0.17 seconds.
Reigning Pro Eseries winner and current championship leader Josh Rogers finished fourth.
Van Gisbergen told the Fox Sports commentary team, which included his Bathurst-winning co-driver Garth Tander, that the race win came despite not following the team’s pre-race strategy.
“There was a few loose units at the start to put it nicely, but once they were gone it was a mega race, it was a lot of fun,” van Gisbergen said.
“I thought I was going to stay up high and save the tyres but then I got a little excited and just got amongst it and it kind of worked as well.”
The second race of the night was a reverse grid order from the opening results meaning van Gisbergen started last.
After a huge crash involving half the field including championship leader Rogers, the Repco Safety Car was called to reset the field.
After that van Gisbergen’s teammate Jarrad Filsell took the lead and held it for most of the race.
Van Gisbergen forced his way to the front pack and it proved to be a race winning move for Filsell.
When Mobil 1 Middy’s entry Dayne Warren looked to have found the pace to take the race lead, van Gisbergen was able to hold the Walkinshaw entry with some blocking moves to prevent him from taking the lead off Filsell.
In the end Filsell claimed the win, with van Gisbergen making it a Red Bull 1-2 and Warren coming home third.
Rogers recovered from the early pileup to finish tenth and maintain his championship lead.
The third and final race of the night was held at Belgium’s famous F1 circuit, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and it was Rogers’ chance for redemption, starting from Qoin Pole Position on the Seiko Starting Grid.
Rogers and Warren skipped away to an early lead and were never challenged from there, leading home a Walkinshaw 1-2, BJR’s Madison Down was third.
Tonight’s results mean Rogers now leads the Pro Eseries by 94 points from teammate Warren while Down is third with just one round remaining.
Next week’s final round will decide which five drivers win a share in more than $26,000 worth of prizemoney.
Racing will be held at Australia’s Phillip Island and Interlagos in Brazil.
Fans can watch the Repco Pro Eseries decider, live from 8:30pm – 10:30pm AEDT on Tuesday night on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo that will also have full races available on demand via their streaming services after each event.
The event can also be watched live via Supercars Facebook Page, Supercars YouTube and Supercars Twitch.