SVG can’t win Supercars title “on merit”
Tuesday 7th November, 2023 - 6:00am
Shane van Gisbergen admits he faces an uphill battle to win this year’s Repco Supercars Championship – but that does not mean wishes any ill fortune against Brodie Kostecki.
The 2016, 2021, and 2022 champion will arrive at the Vailo Adelaide 500 later this month trailing championship leader Kostecki by 131 points, with 150 on offer in each of the weekend’s two, 250km races.
It means that van Gisbergen almost has to beat the Erebus Motorsport driver in the Saturday encounter in order to keep his title hopes alive.
Even then, though, the formline for the season to date suggests Kostecki would need to do little more than finish the following day’s 78-lapper in order to score a first Supercars crown.
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
For van Gisbergen, it is his last chance to add a fourth title for the foreseeable future, given he heads to the United States to pursue a career in NASCAR in 2024.
However, he is not hoping for a mistake or for bad luck to struck his championship rival.
“I like Adelaide, I like the racing, and I just want to go there and have two good races and finish on a high, I guess,” the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver said in the latest episode of the Speedcafe Newscast.
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“Our title doesn’t depend on us, it depends on him, and I guess we just lost too many points early in the year, even from the first race.
“So, we’re too far behind to win it on merit; he needs to make a mistake.
“I said it at Gold Coast; I’m not going there hoping for him to make a mistake.
“If I get two good results, maybe something happens, but I have no influence on what he does, really.”
To that point, van Gisbergen cannot even recall the precise deficit which he will try and overhaul in the City of Churches.
On the prospect of a thrilling season finale, the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver remarked, “I hope so, but 140 points or whatever it is – that’s almost a whole race – so something needs to happen.
“I don’t know what the scenarios are; I just know it’s a massive gap.
“I haven’t obviously given up, but something needs to go wrong for him, which I can’t cheer for.”
Van Gisbergen recorded a sweep of the four races in his cameo appearance in Battery World Aussie Racing Cars at Highlands Motorsport Park in recent days, as well as finishing fourth in the Highlands 6 Hour in a Brabham BT62.
The 2023 Adelaide 500 takes place on November 23-26.