Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen could be the first man since Russell Ingall in 1998 to clean sweep the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix. But with double points on offer today, he’ll have to watch out for fellow countryman Fabian Coulthard.
The Lockwood racer finished second today and is just 37 points behind the Team TEKNO VIP Petfoods driver, who has scored the maximum available points at the event.
Points go towards the MSS Security Challenge event win, with a trophy awarded after today’s 12-lapper around Albert Park.
Given he has been untouchable throughout the event, it’s easy to think van Gisbergen may run away with tomorrow’s trophy – but he’s mindful of who is behind him.
“The more I think, if Fabian wins I need to finish fourth or something with double points,” he told v8supercars.com.au.
“So we’ve just got to try and stay in the top three and have a clean race, or maybe stay in front and lead the whole thing so we have a car that’s good enoguh to do it, we just have to put it all together.”
Once again, the 24-year old racer has started the season strong, with an ARMOR ALL Pole Position at the opening Clipsal 500 and now dominating the Melbourne streets.
“The way we ended last year we were really speedy, so it’s good to carry that form on and have a fast car still… For some reason I’m always quick at this track. So I just need to carry it on.”
Van Gisbergen is a master in the wet, but though he exhibits strong form in rainy conditions, he’s hoping the water will stay away tomorrow.
“I hope it’s dry!” he said. “Today we lost quite a bit because of the wind, it was so windy the car was very different… just hope for a nice day tomorrow and dry.
“But if it’s wet same for everyone we’ll just see what happens.”
Craig Lowndes is third in the points tally, with Scott McLaughlin just three points behind the Red Bull racer.
With Michael Caruso next in line, there are three manufacturers in the top five, with Holdens filling the top three spots and the Volvo and Nissan having a strong showing.
Jamie Whincup is sixth, with Garth Tander, James Moffat, Todd Kelly and Mark Winterbottom completing the top 10.
With 150 points awarded tomorrow, mathematically any of the top 18 cars could still win the event.
Cars start tomorrow according to their accumulated points position – however, both #6 of Chaz Mostert and #21 of Dale Wood will not race after yesterday’s incident.