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Van Gisbergen's super Gold Coast form key to title push

Supercars
24 Oct
The thrilling 2023 championship battle is set for its latest chapter on the streets of Surfers Paradise
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  • 14 of last 15 races in top 10 at Gold Coast for Shane van Gisbergen

  • Hot streak highlighted by six wins — more than any other driver on this year’s grid

  • Van Gisbergen trails Brodie Kostecki by 131 points with 600 remaining

Shane van Gisbergen’s hopes of a fourth Supercars title will be boosted by his form at Surfers Paradise, which he regards as one of “my better tracks”.

Van Gisbergen cut Brodie Kostecki’s championship lead to 131 points with victory at the Repco Bathurst 1000 earlier this month.

It has been a topsy turvy title defence for van Gisbergen, who was behind by as little as 44 points after Sydney, and as big as 172 points after Tasmania.

The Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 comes at the best possible time for van Gisbergen, who boasts a superb run of form at the famous Gold Coast circuit.

Best of Gold Coast: Most dramatic starts

Van Gisbergen has finished in the top five in 12 of his last 15 races on the Gold Coast dating back to 2013, highlighted by six wins — more than any other driver on this year’s grid.

The streak began in the 2013 co-driver race alongside Jeroen Bleekemolen, before an unfortunate Sunday clash at the first chicane led to a DNF.

Save for a finish of 10th in 2018, due to a fight back after a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pit release, van Gisbergen has finished no worse than fifth.

Van Gisbergen is one of just five drivers, with Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom, to win two-driver and single-driver races on the Gold Coast. The 34-year-old dominated last year's event, winning both races.

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In contrast, Kostecki has started just four races on the Gold Coast, and has finishes of 18th and 15th (in the 2019 co-driver races), and seventh and fifth in last year’s solo races.

The 2023 season is already set for a thrilling climax, but should Kostecki stumble on the Gold Coast, the Erebus Motorsport will have to contend with a driver who enjoys street racing.

van gisbergen tander gold coast 2019

Van Gisbergen has also won five races in Adelaide, which will close out the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship on November 23-26.

The Kiwi will also get pre-Adelaide miles in an unexpected fashion, being named a surprise inclusion in the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series season finale field at Highlands Motorsport Park next month.

“Anything can happen,” van Gisbergen said after winning the Great Race.

“There are four races left and obviously Brodie is doing very well. He doesn’t make many mistakes and, as you have to be, on a bad day he’s still in the top five.

“He’s an awesome driver, their raw speed is definitely better than ours, our race pace is always pretty close.

“Gold Coast is one of my better tracks and Adelaide is okay, so hopefully we can put some pressure on them.”

Supercars will hit the track at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 on Friday. Tickets are on sale now.

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