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Sandown Supercars: Van Gisbergen keeps perfect run alive

Shane van Gisbergen remains unbeaten in the 2021 Supercars season after winning his fifth race in a row at Sandown. 

Sandown Supercars: Van Gisbergen keeps perfect run alive

The Kiwi, nursing a freshly broken collarbone, completed his clean sweep for the weekend with a clinical performance in full wet conditions.

Apart from a few corners of pressure from teammate Jamie Whincup on the opening lap, van Gisbergen was untroubled across the 36-lap journey.

There was a brief period mid-way through the first stint when second-placed Brodie Kostecki turned van Gisbergen's four-second gap into a three-second gap. The leader quickly responded, though, pulling the gap out to 4.4s before taking his mandatory service on Lap 26.

The second stint was then a breeze for van Gisbergen, who managed to gap and crossed the line almost 15s clear of the field. 

"It's unreal," said van Gisbergen. "The car has been awesome. It's awesome to race in front of fans again in Melbourne. I'm hurting, but [the collarbone] was okay."

Kostecki finished a fine second place to bank his first podium finish in Supercars.

The Erebus rookie made impressive progress in the first stint, starting with a well-executed pass on Jamie Whincup coming out of the last corner on Lap 7 to move into third.

He then swiftly ran down David Reynolds, blasting past the former Erebus driver up the back straight to move into second place.

There was a nervous moment right after his stop as Kostecki bounced over the grass between Turns 3 and 4, however he was able to gather the car up without losing a position. 

"It was a really good race," said Kostecki. "The guys did an awesome job, they got the car turned around. I didn't think I'd be here [on the pdoium] this early. Hopefully we can carry this momentum through the year."

Reynolds finished a lonely third, his first podium since joining Kelly Grove Racing, while Whincup slipped back to fourth.

Will Davison led the way for Dick Johnson Racing in fifth, despite an early spin, followed by Tickford's Cam Waters.

Will Brown capped off an excellent race for Erebus with seventh, ahead of Brad Jones Racing pair Todd Hazelwood and Nick Percat and Team 18's Mark Winterbottom. 

Chaz Mostert endured a difficult end to a promising weekend, his race getting off to a poor start when he shot across the grass on the way into Turn 4 on the opening lap.

That dropped him back to 13th, the poor conditions making it difficult to make headway once back in the pack.

Things went from bad to worse after his stop, though, Mostert returning to the garage on Lap 14 with a broken throttle cable. 

He returned to the track eight laps later, banking a handful of points for finishing last.

The clean sweep has helped van Gisbergen extend his points lead to over half a round, the gap back to Whincup now 155 points.

Mostert, who was only 33 points behind van Gisbergen heading into the round, is now a sizeable 163 points in arrears.

Race results:

cla # driver car laps time gap
1 97 NZL Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 36 48'18.1842  
2 99 AUS Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 48'32.9974 14.8132
3 26 AUS David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 36 48'41.2267 23.0425
4 88 AUS Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 36 48'47.9971 29.8129
5 17 AUS Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 36 48'49.2917 31.1075
6 6 AUS Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 36 48'58.4879 40.3037
7 9 AUS Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'01.0497 42.8655
8 14 AUS Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'04.1410 45.9568
9 8 AUS Nicholas Percat Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'04.5671 46.3829
10 18 AUS Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'08.7755 50.5913
11 7 NZL Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 36 49'11.1952 53.0110
12 11 AUS Anton de Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 36 49'13.4429 55.2587
13 2 AUS Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'14.7881 56.6039
14 34 AUS Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 36 49'15.5981 57.4139
15 44 AUS James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 36 49'16.8341 58.6499
16 5 AUS Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 36 49'25.4537 1'07.2695
17 3 AUS Timothy Slade Ford Mustang GT 35 48'22.0088 1 Lap
18 96 AUS Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 35 48'22.0545 1 Lap
19 22 AUS Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 35 48'26.8182 1 Lap
20 19 NZL Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 35 48'29.0518 1 Lap
21 35 AUS Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 35 48'35.8766 1 Lap
22 20 AUS Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 35 48'44.6673 1 Lap
23 4 AUS Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 35 49'27.0302 1 Lap
24 25 AUS Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 29 49'19.7723 7 Laps
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