Shane van Gisbergen labels title fight-ending crash "deflating"
Brodie Kostecki clinched championship after van Gisbergen crashed on Saturday
Van Gisbergen has one more race before shifting to NASCAR in 2024
Shane van Gisbergen is hoping for a memorable finish to his Supercars career on Sunday after his 2023 title bid ended in a “deflating” crash at the VAILO Adelaide 500.
Van Gisbergen was an innocent victim on lap 1 in Race 27, hitting Will Brown after the Erebus Motorsport driver’s crash at Turn 4.
Brown and van Gisbergen were out, with Brown’s teammate Brodie Kostecki sealing the 2023 championship with a finish of sixth.
Van Gisbergen won’t head to NASCAR with a fourth championship in tow, and while Saturday didn’t go to plan, the Kiwi still has eyes on bringing home the teams’ championship to Triple Eight.
Broc Feeney passed Kostecki late on, with the margin between Erebus and Triple Eight now 161 points with 288 on offer on Sunday.
"Firstly, congratulations to Brodie and the entire Erebus team for their championship win,” van Gisbergen said.
"It’s pretty deflating the way today’s race ended, but that’s the way these things happen sometimes.
"The car isn’t looking too bad and I have full confidence that the crew can get it back to one hundred per cent tomorrow – it would be nice to finish off the year with a good result.
"Broc did a fantastic job and managed to close the gap in the teams’ championship, so that’s our full focus tomorrow."
Feeney was disappointed to see his teammate’s hopes evaporate so quickly, and also cast his focus to the teams’ championship battle.
“It was a real shame to see Shane’s race and his championship fight come to a close very quickly at the start,” Feeney said.
"We moved forward from the start and got stuck in a battle with [Will] Davison for the first half of the race which I think cost us quite a bit of time. In the last stint in clean air, I think we were really fast.
"We were really strong towards the end of the stints and I was just having heaps of fun out there and was enjoying the battles with both Brodie and Chaz [Mostert].
"The car was fast and we beat the guys we’re battling at the moment, and I think if we can qualify up the front tomorrow we can certainly take it to the other cars.
"We obviously still have the teams’ championship to battle for tomorrow. We’re still a long way behind but it was good to get those extra points on Brodie and make it a little bit closer.
"I’m just going to go out tomorrow and try and replicate last year.”
Supercars will return to the track for ARMOR ALL Qualifying at 10:15am local time/10:45am AEDT. The Top Ten Shootout will follow at 12:05pm local time/12:35pm AEDT, followed by Race 28 at 2:45pm local time/3:15pm AEDT.