Shane van Gisbergen has hailed his crew’s efforts to repair his damaged car in time for the Tasmania finale, which kept his championship alive.
Van Gisbergen crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday’s first race at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.
It consigned van Gisbergen to his first DNF since Townsville 2020, ending a streak of 83 consecutive finishes.
Red Bull Ampol Racing had just on two hours to repair the #97 Camaro, which had significant right-side and suspension damage.
Van Gisbergen was the last driver to leave pit lane as cars arrived on the grid for Race 12, which was won by Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown.
The #97 Chevrolet not only made it all 42 laps, but van Gisbergen challenged points leader Brodie Kostecki for the final spot on the podium.
Instead of dropping another swag of points to Kostecki, van Gisbergen salvaged enough points to keep Erebus within reach.
"For how my car looked after today’s first race,” he said, “Watching the guys put it back together to get me out on the grid, and noticing how much of the car still wasn’t right.
“It wasn’t straight and was obviously pretty bent, but to get it mechanically sound and safe and to be able to go out on track and get a decent haul of points is unreal.
"A huge thanks to the guys there."
Van Gisbergen started ninth in the finale, and pitted early in a bid to threaten the leaders.
It worked, van Gisbergen initially overhauling Kostecki before the #99 Coca-Cola Camaro got back past.
Moments before impact
"The crew also did an amazing pit stop again – we came in early and jumped a few people and hung on to the end, so that was great," he added.
"You certainly have to look at those positives after today.”
The day wasn’t all doom and gloom for Red Bull Ampol Racing, with Broc Feeney winning Race 11 before going on to split the Erebus Camaro’s in the finale.
Kostecki leads teammate Brown by 87 points heading to the betr Darwin Triple Crown, with Chaz Mostert 166 points down in third.
Van Gisbergen and Feeney are fourth and fifth, 172 and 191 points behind Kostecki respectively.
Erebus leads Triple Eight by 276 points in the teams’ championship.
Tickets for the betr Darwin Triple Crown, on June 16-18, are on sale now.