POLL: Who will break van Gisbergen’s Supercars winning streak?
Monday 12th April, 2021 - 3:25pm
With the Repco Supercars Championship resuming this weekend at Symmons Plains, we ask who you think will eventually break Shane van Gisbergen’s winning streak, in this week’s Pirtek Poll.
Van Gisbergen has won each of the first five races this season, and also the Bathurst 1000 which closed out the 2020 campaign.
While the New Zealander jokingly attributed the feat to compatriot Scott McLaughlin having “f**ked off to America”, he is clearly in a rich vein of form.
Despite dabbling in a multitude of disciplines over summer, van Gisbergen has only failed to win one race/event which he has entered since last year’s Great Race.
Even then, that was a two-driver affair in which the car he started in finished second, namely Race 2 of Round 2 of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS at the Bathurst 6 Hour event.
Whether someone manages to put one over #97 this weekend in Tasmania is, of course, no guarantee.
It will be a record-equalling achievement if they do not, however, given the longest run of consecutive race wins in Australian Touring Car Championship history is the eight set by Craig Lowndes in 1996.
With that in mind, we ponder who might be the next person aside from van Gisbergen to be first to greet the chequered flag.
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Jamie Whincup is, statistically, van Gisbergen’s closest rival at this point in time given he helps make for a Red Bull Ampol Racing one-two in the drivers’ standings.
Although he was among those to pick up fastest lap bonus points at Sandown, Whincup’s position in the title race is more so down to consistency than out-and-out pace.
The seven-time champion has thus far recorded finishes of seventh, sixth, third, third, and fourth to start the 2021 season.
Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United
Chaz Mostert made a particularly promising start to his second season at Walkinshaw Andretti United, his speed in at Mount Panorama rewarded with podiums in both of those races.
He bagged a second pole with WAU at Sandown but the first race of the weekend went awry strategically and the Mobil 1 Appliances Online entry suffered a broken throttle cable in the third.
Mostert nevertheless occupies third in the championship, and has also starred recently in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, in particular, as well as Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.
Cameron Waters, Tickford Racing
While fourth in the standings, Cameron Waters could easily have swept the Mount Panorama event himself.
Already in 2021, Waters has put the Monster Energy Mustang on the front row three times, including pole position for Race 1, and racked up three second place finishes.
He is therefore well-placed to profit if something goes wrong for the other front-runners, but could easily win on pace alone anyway.
Mark Winterbottom, Team 18
Mark Winterbottom has arguably gone under the radar so far but will arrive in Tasmania holding fifth spot in the points.
The Team 18 driver still has not finished on the podium, his best race results being fourth in both Race 1 and Race 3, but Winterbottom has been consistent.
Whether he and the Irwin Tools ZB Commodore have the speed to crack a win is another question, but he is a Supercars champion and the car is Triple Eight equipment.
Will Davison, Dick Johnson Racing
Dick Johnson Racing appears to be in something of a rebuilding phase post-McLaughlin.
While the three-time champion is gone, save for a planned start in the Bathurst 1000, and the team has undergone a restructure both on the workshop floor and in the back office, the key people remain at Stapylton.
DJR could easily click soon, when both Davison and team-mate Anton De Pasquale would be a solid shout for race wins.
For the sake of brevity, we have included only the five immediately behind van Gisbergen in the championship, above.
It should be noted, however, that Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki finished an impressive second last time out, Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat picked up multiple victories last year, and Kelly Grove Racing’s Andre Heimgartner is becoming a regular podium threat.
With that in mind, we ask you, who will, sooner or later, break van Gisbergen’s Supercars winning streak? Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.