A disastrous Sandown showing has all but ended Shane Van Gisbergen’s slim Supercars championship title hopes but he isn’t giving up.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team star’s first-lap crash in Saturday’s 60km sprint race resulted in a costly DNF which left him with no points and extended Scott McLaughlin’s championship lead to 500 points.
Van Gisbergen’s tangle with Penrite Racing’s Anton De Pasquale means even if he hauls himself from the back of the grid to win Sunday’s Sandown 500, it may not be enough to keep the title race alive.
Ford star McLaughlin’s lead is so big that even if he finishes dead last in 25th he’ll claim the 50 points he need to secure the championship.
Van Gisbergen can only keep the title race alive until the season finale in Newcastle later this month is if he wins and McLaughlin fails to finish.
“I’m kicking myself, but hopefully we can make it up,” Van Gisbergen said.
“We’ll think about strategy, who starts, how to get out of the traffic and start moving to the front.
“We’ll put our heads down and try to come up with something.”
Van Gisbergen’s crash came after co-driver Garth Tander had steered their Commodore to third on the grid in Saturday’s first 60km race.
The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner spoke confidently about his chances of helping Van Gisbergen ensure the title race stretches to the final round.
“The good thing is we can be hyper flexible with our strategy because I’m confident I can run as fast as any of the main drivers,” Tander said.
“If it ends up that I’m running against the main drivers I think I can hold my own.”
Sunday’s endurance race begins at 1.25pm.