Van Gisbergen seals class top five on Le Mans debut

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/06/2022
  • By James Pavey, Pics by Motorsport Images

Shane van Gisbergen will return to Australia having secured a class top five finish on his Le Mans debut.

Van Gisbergen raced a Riley Motorsports Ferrari with Brazilian Felipe Fraga and Briton Sam Bird.

Fraga brought the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo home fifth in the LM GTE Pro class, and 32nd overall.

Van Gisbergen’s compatriot Brendon Hartley scored overall honours with Toyota.

Hartley helped Toyota to its fifth straight outright victory alongside Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa.

Australian Ryan Briscoe, who has made three Bathurst 1000 starts, finished third overall for Glickenhaus.

Supercars points leader van Gisbergen completed 110 of the Riley Ferrari’s 347 laps.

The Riley crew’s run to P5 in class was aided by a double DNF for Corvette.

The #64 Corvette led in class with six hours remaining before it collided with an LMP2 runner.

It opened the door to class victory for the #91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki.

Factory-backed AF Corse Ferraris were second and third in class ahead of the second Porsche.

The van Gisbergen Ferrari, a privateer entry, ran seventh after six hours.

At halfway, the Riley entry was up to sixth after the #63 Corvette lost 20 laps due to suspension dramas.

It loomed to become fourth after the #92 Porsche suffered a tyre blowout with eight hours to go.

The #92 Porsche led the class with Michael Christensen before a lock-up and off led to a right-front puncture.

However, repairs helped the #92 Porsche back into the race and ahead of the #74 Ferrari by race’s end.

The factory-backed Porsches and Ferraris ultimately had more speed than the Riley car.

However, a smart, reliable effort ensured van Gisbergen scored a finish on his Le Mans debut.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver will now travel back to Australia to resume his Supercars campaign.

Van Gisbergen will take a 281-point series lead into the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

Purchase your Merlin Darwin Triple Crown tickets now.

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