Van Gisbergen breaks 56-year-old ATCC record
Saturday 20th March, 2021 - 6:45pm
Shane van Gisbergen has savoured a record come-from-behind win amid a “super tough” recovery from a broken collarbone.
The well-documented bone break came two weeks out from the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint when van Gisbergen fell off his mountain bike.
Despite the damage, the 31-year-old raced on in pain, driving through from 17th on the grid to claim an emphatic last-lap win over Monster Energy Racing’s Cameron Waters.
The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver reset the record for the lowest starting position for the winner of a single driver race in Australian Touring Car Championship history at Sandown International Motor Raceway.
Norm Beechey previous held that record when he won in 1965 from 14th on the grid 56 years ago.
“I’ve been through a lot,” said van Gisbergen.
“The first week, in particular, was super tough. I was on weird drugs that just make you think weird things but I’m on some stuff this week and it’s much better.
“Those drugs are no good, I don’t see the appeal to them. I’d rather not have done it but I’m here.”
Van Gisbergen sealed victory in the race with a pass on Waters on the last lap, making a move into Turn 1.
However, it was the double overtake on Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup that the Kiwi said set-up the win.
“I had a good first lap, saved the tyres, and then started picking guys off,” said van Gisbergen.
“Everyone ran a bit longer than I thought they were going to but it still worked for us.
“I had a terrible outlap, I got caught up with James [Courtney] and then had a lot of understeer but after three laps it came good.
“I saw Chaz was struggling and just hoped he backed everyone up and he did, which was awesome.
“A bit of a risky move at Turn 2 but that’s probably what won me the race.
“It probably wasn’t smart to make it three-wide, but being on the inside is the safest place and it worked quite well.”
In the week leading up to the event, Triple Eight Race Engineering put Garth Tander on standby should the Kiwi be unable to compete.
However, after partaking in the morning’s practice session, van Gisbergen knew he would be able to race.
“I thought I would go straight over the kerb and I’ll be able to race or I won’t,” van Gisbergen explained.
“So yeah, it was good. It hurts when you hit the kerbs but it’s not too bad. I’m in pain but I’m no worse than I was at the start of the day.
“It’s good. I felt OK in the car, it’s a bit compromised with the wheel position and stuff but otherwise all good.
“Maybe it’s the adrenaline but yeah, it wasn’t distracting me at all,” he added.
“I was full focus all race, it felt good.”
Against all odds, van Gisbergen has extended his lead in the Repco Supercars Championship over Mobil 1 Appliances Online Racing driver Chaz Mostert to 60 points.
Van Gisbergen will have two more opportunities for victory at the Sandown SuperSprint, both races lasting 36 laps.