Van Gisbergen's key takeaway from Albert Park

02 Apr 2023
A win and two podiums for reigning champion
2 mins by James Pavey

Closing to the points lead in every race at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint has seen Shane van Gisbergen vault straight back into title contention.

Van Gisbergen won a race, and scored two podiums, across the weekend at Albert Park.

It all came after he crashed out of Thursday's Practice 1, and missed Practice 2 altogether.

The Red Bull Ampol Camaro driver entered the weekend 126 points from the lead, and leaves Melbourne just 86 points behind.

The lead has swapped hands — Chaz Mostert led into Sunday, before Brodie Kostecki took over top spot.

Kostecki leads Mostert by 32 points heading to Perth, where van Gisbergen won two of the three races last year.

While disappointed to miss out on a second straight Larry Perkins Trophy, van Gisbergen was pleased to close the gap to the front.

The Kiwi has been playing catch-up since he was stripped of his Race 1 victory in Newcastle.

"A massive congratulations to Brodie and the team for winning the Larry Perkins Trophy,” he said.

“We really wanted to defend that because it’s such a special trophy, but I think they’re worthy winners.

"Of course, well done to Broc, Marty [Short, #88 race engineer] and the team for an awesome job and for getting another win.


"It was a really good points weekend for us, and I think we closed the championship gap in every race, so I’m stoked."

Van Gisbergen came home fourth on Sunday, with teammate Broc Feeney and Andre Heimgartner leading home Kostecki.

Kostecki led van Gisbergen by a single point for the Perkins Trophy heading into Sunday’s finale.

Van Gisbergen won on Thursday

An early strategy ploy helped Kostecki jump from 14th to third, while van Gisbergen stayed out and eventually battled Bryce Fullwood.

Van Gisbergen emerged fifth, which became fourth after Fullwood was penalised over an unsafe release.

“Today’s race was pretty wild,” van Gisbergen said.

"More people started on Super Softs than we thought, and because we were the last car on soft tyres.

“We were having some great battles but we were bleeding time to the guys who had pitted.

"It was a good race and another massive improvement on our starting grid position, but I didn’t quite get the event win.”

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will continue in Perth on April 28-30.

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