Sandown Supercars: Injured van Gisbergen storms to stunning win

Nursing a broken collarbone, Shane van Gisbergen drove from 17th on the grid to a remarkable victory in the opening Supercars race at Sandown.

Sandown Supercars: Injured van Gisbergen storms to stunning win

The Kiwi made steady progress throughout the race, making up four spots on the opening lap-and-a-half before Bryce Fullwood's trip into the Turn 4 wall prompted an early caution.

When the race went green again on lap seven he continued his march forward, making up plenty of positions as cars around him pitted, while also pulling off impressive moves on the likes of Jack Le Brocq and Will Davison.

Van Gisbergen was then the last in the field to make his stop, waiting until there was just 11 laps left.

He then had the best tyre condition for a storming run home, quickly clearing the likes of Anton De Pasquale and Mark Winterbottom as he set his sights on the top three.

His big break came with two laps to go, when Chaz Mostert, Cam Waters and Jamie Whincup found themselves in a three-way fight for the lead into Turn 1. 

That slowed them up enough for van Gisbergen to not only join the battle but pass both Whincup and Mostert with a spectacular lunge into Turn 2.

He then charged down Waters, who had stopped six laps earlier, across the penultimate lap before grabbing the lead on the final tour to set up a memorable victory.

Before today nobody in ATCC/Supercars history had won a single-driver race at Sandown from lower than 14th on the grid. 

"I had so much help the last couple of weeks with good surgeons, the hyperbaric chambers, my nice girlfriend looking after me, and our physio," said van Gisbergen. 

"It's been a pretty tough two weeks but I feel awesome in the car. And obviously my car is great. Hopefully that was good to watch, I was trying!"

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering passes Cam Waters, Tickford Ford for the lead

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering passes Cam Waters, Tickford Ford for the lead

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

It was a see-sawing battle for the lead across the 36-lap journey, with a number of drivers looking in contention for the win at various points.

Waters, who ultimately finished second, led across the first stint after jumping polesitter Mostert at the first corner.

Mostert, however, opted to stop on lap 8, giving him a huge undercut by the time Waters and Whincup pitted together on lap 19.

That advantage was swiftly squandered by tyre condition though, Mostert going from leading with two laps to go to finishing down in sixth place.

Whincup, who had challenged Waters for the lead right before van Gisbergen burst into the lead group, finished third ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Anton De Pasquale. 

Waters said not clearing Mostert quickly enough made the difference.

"Chaz was hurting, I could see that, but every time I got close to Chazzie, J-Dub decided he wanted to have a crack at me," said Waters. "Those three, four laps are what got Shane back in the race.

"We had so much fun, massive kudos to Shane for what he's achieved with his shoulder. Massive respect. He deserved that race, he did everything he needed to do."

la # driver car laps time gap
1 97 NZL Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 36 45'57.0639  
2 6 AUS Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 36 45'58.0913 1.0274
3 88 AUS Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 36 45'58.3784 1.3145
4 18 AUS Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'00.8033 3.7394
5 11 AUS Anton de Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 36 46'01.7226 4.6587
6 25 AUS Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'01.7386 4.6747
7 8 AUS Nicholas Percat Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'04.9121 7.8482
8 7 NZL Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 36 46'06.4832 9.4193
9 44 AUS James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 36 46'11.3409 14.2770
10 5 AUS Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 36 46'11.8490 14.7851
11 26 AUS David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 36 46'12.4101 15.3462
12 20 AUS Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'12.5504 15.4865
13 3 AUS Timothy Slade Ford Mustang GT 36 46'13.0551 15.9912
14 14 AUS Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'15.2928 18.2289
15 96 AUS Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'15.5848 18.5209
16 9 AUS Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'19.6233 22.5594
17 99 AUS Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'22.0232 24.9593
18 4 AUS Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'22.0697 25.0058
19 35 AUS Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'26.4641 29.4002
20 22 AUS Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'26.6320 29.5681
21 19 NZL Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 36 46'27.1017 30.0378
22 17 AUS Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 34 46'18.2379 2 Laps
23 34 AUS Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 30 47'07.4935 6 Laps
24 2 AUS Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 29 47'03.6718 7 Laps

 

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