Someone needs to step up fast to stop Shane van Gisbergen turning this year’s Supercars championship into a non-event.
Gisbergen, who drives like a shark picking off defenceless bait fish, was unbeatable over three 36-lap races at the Sandown SuperSprint.
A broken collarbone was supposed to give his rivals a chance against the crippled championship leader, but he knew within two laps of practice that he would be fine and then he dominated despite wicked weather shifts that took the track conditions from hot and dry to soaking wet.
“He’s pretty much unbeatable,” David Reynolds said after bagging his first podium in a Ford Mustang with third place in the streaming wet finale to a weekend of tough and entertaining racing.”
SvG played down his perfect start to the 2021 season, with five wins from five starts in the Red Bull Ampol Commodore, but could not resist a donut celebration after a dominant performance in the final sodden race on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s unreal. Super cool and awesome to race in front of fans again in Melbourne. It was unreal,” said van Gisbergen.
His job was made easier when his rivals made mistakes or went the wrong way on strategy over the weekend, but rookie Brodie ‘Bush’ Kostecki showed his class and potential when he ran home a solid and sensible second in an Erebus Commodore.
“Good to see Brodie up here,” said SvG.
“To be honest, I’m surprised it happened so soon. But I’m happy,” said Kostecki.
“It was a really good race. I’m stoked to be here. But I still got beaten by a guy with one arm,” he joked.
Jamie Whincup put in his usual solid performance over the weekend and is now second on the points table, with two podium results and fourth in the finale.
Chaz Mostert showed speed and potential in the WAU Commodore but nothing really clicked and a broken throttle cable sent him to the pits for repairs in the final race.
“It just wasn’t our weekend. Pretty simple,” he said.
“We just didn’t roll out strong enough in practice one. I’d like to hit control-alt-delete on that one.”
So Cam Waters, who scored the 100th podium finish for the Ford Mustang in Supercars, is now the best-placed of the Blue Oval runners but only fourth in the championship after a non-finish in the first race at Bathurst.
Race 3 – 36 laps
- Shane van Gisbergen, Commodore
- Brodie Kostecki, Commodore
- David Reynolds, Mustang
- Jamie Whincup, Commodore
- Will Davison, Mustang
- Cam Waters, Mustang
- Will Brown, Commodore
- Todd Hazelwood, Commodore
- Nick Percat, Commodore
- Mark Winterbottom, Commodore
- Van Gisbergen, 605 points; 2. Whincup, 460; 3. Mostert, 420; 4. Waters, 442; 5. Winterbottom, 411; 6. Davison, 377;