Investigation threatens van Gisbergen's crucial Supercars win

Title contender Shane van Gisbergen's stunning win in Newcastle could be under threat, as Supercars officials investigate an alleged pitstop infringement

Investigation threatens van Gisbergen's crucial Supercars win

The Red Bull Holden driver charged home to snatch victory from title rival Scott McLaughlin on the final lap of a thrilling encounter in Newcastle, setting up a winner-takes-all two-point showdown on Sunday.

However, that win is now under threat, with Supercars officials investigating whether van Gisbergen's car was lowered to the ground with the fuel rig attached during his third and final stop.

The regulations read, "the car must have all four wheels off the ground while refuelling is taking place", and "if a car is lowered to the ground before refuelling is complete it must be raised immediately and until the refuelling has been completed".

Should he be found guilty, a post-race time penalty could strip him of his win and give McLaughlin a more significant advantage heading into the decider.

According to DJR Team Penske managing director Ryan Story, footage of van Gisbergen's car hitting the ground while refuelling is yet to be completed is "pretty clear".

"The view is pretty clear," said Story when asked if he'd watched the footage.

"It's being investigated by the officials at the moment, so I won't speculate as to what will happen or not.

"But the rules are was clear. It's one of those things. We'll wait and see what happens.

"It's being reviewed at the moment, we'll wait and see what the outcome is of that."

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton, however, said he has no concerns over the legality of the stop.

"No, no. The guys work very hard, the spike and fuel man, to be as in unison as possible," he said.

"Because they reacted at the same time, you could almost not script it better.

"Sometimes things happen live and you think 'oh, have we missed something?'. But it's all good.

"We went through and watched all of the stops and they were spot-on.

"You've got to be careful you don't multiply or add up your reaction times. The fueller's reaction time, to when they need to drop and then the spike man, the car release man and the driver.

"We train really hard to get them in sync and today they're on the money."

It's the second investigation in as many rounds for car #97, following the controversial wheel-spinning saga at Pukekohe.

Penalty is 'recommended'

The deputy race director later recommended that van Gisbergen be penalised for the infringement, but a final decision won't be made until Sunday.

After a lengthy investigation, the deputy race director suggested that the stop was indeed a breach of the rules, and that a penalty - the nature of which is yet to be confirmed - should be applied.

That determination has been contested by Triple Eight, with stewards set to reconvene in the morning to properly consider the matter.

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Series Supercars
Drivers Shane van Gisbergen
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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