SVG happy to ride luck with Kostecki, Mostert dramas

20 May
'It's very hard to have a clean whole year'
3 mins by James Pavey

Shane van Gisbergen was happy to have luck on his side en route to the Race 10 podium as his championship rivals struck trouble.

Van Gisbergen finished third after starting ninth in Saturday’s NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint opener.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver heads into Sunday 74 points from series leader Brodie Kostecki, who crashed out early.

Kostecki and Chaz Mostert, who came into Saturday first and second in the points, were caught up in separate incidents on lap 3.

The #99 Coca-Cola Camaro was classified 23rd after picking up steering damage, while Mostert was consigned to a DNF.

Van Gisbergen benefitted from his rivals' troubles to wipe away 62 points from Kostecki’s deficit in one fell swoop.

The incidents occurred right in front of van Gisbergen, who picked off Cam Waters for third on the final lap.

The podium was welcome reward for van Gisbergen, who closed the gap to Kostecki once again, having fallen back in Perth.

“I did nothing, they took themselves out,” he said of the Kostecki and Mostert incidents.

“I sort of had no speed, I just pottered around. After the stop, my car did get better.

"The last lap was pretty interesting with Cam, I’m not sure if he did sides or rears, but he had nothing left at the end.

“Days like today when you’re not the fastest car, it’s good to have some luck sometimes.


“Just stayed out of trouble, and tried to do the best I could. It’s very hard to have a clean whole year.

“Those guys, Brodie especially, have a lot of car speed. We probably need to find car speed first."

Van Gisbergen has been playing catch-up since his disqualification from Race 1 in Newcastle, which he initially won.

The Kiwi’s deficit to those ahead has ebbed and flowed, van Gisbergen 88 points down after the Perth Saturday before the margin blew out to 136 points.

He is now closer to the points lead than he has been all season, although van Gisbergen said he remains in a fight to understand his #97 Camaro.

Van Gisbergen qualified ninth after slowing to respect yellow flags, although he admitted he was “not much” quicker than ninth.

Regardless, the 78-time race winner is enjoying the challenge of a title fight, something he managed to suppress with dominant seasons in 2021 and 2022.

“I love the challenge, and it is a challenge this year for sure,” he said of the points battle.

“We’re trying to figure out what makes the car tick, it’s been pretty cool.

“And also the guys who are up the front this year, they’re all good guys to race."

Supercars will return to the track on Sunday for Race 11 qualifying at 9:50am local time, immediately followed by Race 12 qualifying.

The Tasmania round will conclude with two more 42-lap sprints, at 1:05pm and 3:50pm local time.

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