20/04/2024

Red Bull and Van Gisbergen finish off a tumultuous yet successful weekend in Darwin. (Picture: Supercars.com)

After an extended break due to the most recent COVID outbreak in Melbourne, the Supercars returned in fine form with the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

After an extended break due to the most recent COVID outbreak in Melbourne, the Supercars returned in fine form with the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

Championship leader Shane Van Gisbergen and his team had a rare stumble in the Saturday race, but bounced back on Sunday with back-to-back victories.

The round kicked off with a bang, as Anton De Pasquale put in an impressive lap to qualify on pole for race 12. His hopes were quickly dashed as he found himself in a five car pile up at the first turn.

Chaz Mostert gained seven places to grab his second win of the season. Cameron Waters’ second and Nick Percat’s third made it just the second podium of the season without a Red Bull driver.

Mostert’s win came through the virtue of other drivers misfortunes and clean air.

“We saw some other people have bad luck for a change… clean air is obviously key for the series at the moment,” he said.

Third place in race 12 is Percat’s best result of the season so far. There was some controversy post race, with Brad Jones racing tyre pressure, but ultimately Percat holds on to the third placement.

“That’s the teams side of things, I just sit in the car and steer it,” Percat commented bluntly on the matter.

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Pit stop issues had kept championship leader Van Gisbergen off the podium in race 12, but came up trumps when Saturday rolled around.

The SVG and Red Bull Racing dominance continued as they took double podium finishes on Sunday. Van Gisbergen acknowledged the team’s faults on day one, but was proud of the how they galvanised and were able to bounce back.

“Yesterday was tough for us as a team, we didn’t have a good day,” he said.

“There were a lot of tough discussions about procedures, doing things better and not making mistakes.

“We came out perfectly today, our pitstops were faultless and all things on track went well.”

Van Gisbergen now has eight wins, already equalling the amount he gained during his 2016 title campaign. It brings his championship lead to a season high 221 points.

Five rounds down and six to go. Shane Van Gisbergen is on track to take one of the most dominant championship victories in Supercars history.

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