Contenders react to wild Supercars race

The front-runners from a wild Supercars opener at Sandown have talked through the record-breaking race.

Contenders react to wild Supercars race

Shane van Gisbergen won from 17th on the grid, an ATCC/Supercars record for single-driver races at Sandown, despite having broken his collarbone less than a fortnight ago.

The key to his win was an overcut strategy, van Gisbergen waiting until the 25th of 36 laps to make his mandatory stop.

That gave him the best tyre condition for the run home, his cause helped by Chaz Mostert – who was on an undercut strategy after a poor start from pole – holding the lead pack up on his tyres that had been fitted on Lap 8.

Mostert playing road block helped van Gisbergen climb onto the back of the lead group that also included Cam Waters and Jamie Whincup to set up a wild four-way battle for the lead that went down to the last lap. 

According to van Gisbergen the critical moment was his ballsy pass on both Whincup and Mostert into Turn 2/3 on the second-last lap.

"I had a good first lap, saved the tyres and then started picking guys off," he said.

"Everyone ran a bit longer than I thought, but [the overcut] still worked for us. I had a terrible out-lap, I got caught up with James [Courtney] and then I had a lot of understeer. But after three laps it came good. 

"I saw Chaz was struggling and I hoped he would back everyone up, and he did. It was a bit of a risky move at Turn 2, but that's probably what won the race.

"It's probably not smart to make it three-wide, but being on the inside is the safest place and it worked quite well."

Read Also:

Waters and Whincup, who finished second and third respectively, both said not clearing Mostert quickly enough made the difference. 

"Chaz was hurting, I could see that, but every time I got close to Chazzie, J-Dub decided he wanted to have a crack at me," said Waters. "Those three, four laps are what got Shane back in the race. 

"We had so much fun, massive kudos to Shane for what he's achieved with his shoulder. Massive respect. He deserved that race, he did everything he needed to do."

Whincup added: "It was quite eventful from where I was sitting. We passed a few cars and we got passed by some cars as well. 

"We were following Cam on the same tyre strategy. I had a few goes, we sort of tripped over each other a little bit. Chazzie did great job, he was hanging in there on those very old tyres for lap after lap. And then SVG had great pace and that big lunge down into [Turn] 2. 

"It was good that nobody shunted, nobody is punching on back in the pits. We all raced hard, it was all pretty gnarly, and we all got through unscathed."

Mostert, meanwhile, was left to lament his poor start and the ultimately unsuccessful call to go for the undercut.

“Obviously [we went] the wrong way today,” he told Fox Sports.

“[I'm] Just disappointed. To start off pole and go back to finish sixth and struggling at the end with nothing to fight for, I feel a bit defeated today.

“We probably read it a little bit wrong. We thought people would dive in early and we were about the only one early, so obviously everyone read the other book.

“It’s the way the game is. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and today it just didn’t work out for us.”

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering passes Cam Waters, Tickford Ford for the lead

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering passes Cam Waters, Tickford Ford for the lead

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

shares
comments

Related video

Sandown Supercars: Injured van Gisbergen takes incredible win

Previous article

Sandown Supercars: Injured van Gisbergen takes incredible win

Next article

'Weird' wheel compromise helped van Gisbergen

'Weird' wheel compromise helped van Gisbergen
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Event Sandown
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020