Image: RED BULL RACING AUSTRALIA.
2016 Supercars Champion SHANE VAN GISBERGEN reigns supreme after finishing the season in style by winning the final race of the Coates Hire Sydney 500.
A day after he sealed his first title, van Gisbergen took the final chequered flag at Sydney Olympic Park to confirm his status as the new Supercars Champion.
In winning, the Kiwi driver denied Perth’s Garth Tander a fairytale finish in his final race with the Holden Racing Team. Tander finished second ahead of David Reynolds who enjoyed his first podium finish of the season.
It was van Gisbergen’s eighth win of the year as he became the first New Zealander to win the Championship since Jim Richards in 1991. He celebrated in style after today’s race with several trademark burnouts.
His win extended his final winning margin in the Championship to 200 points over teammate Jamie Whincup. Scott McLaughlin finished third to deny Triple Eight a clean sweep of the Championship, with Craig Lowndes in fourth place.
Today’s race was the final ever at Sydney Olympic Park with the season finale to move to Newcastle in 2017.
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Sydney 500 – Sunday Qualifying 2, Top Ten Shoot Out, Race 2
SHANE van GISBERGEN – Car #97
Qualifying 2 – First (Fastest Lap: 1:26.9518)
Top Ten Shoot Out – Second (Fastest Lap 1:27.1660)
Race 2 – First (Fastest Lap: 1:28.2850)
Championship – First (3368 points)
“It’s a pretty awesome day. After sealing the Championship yesterday, today we just had to have some fun and then we had the added bonus of bringing home the win. We had a really fast car and I’ve really enjoyed working with the whole crew of car 97 throughout the season. Winning the Championship is something I’ve dreamt about for a long time so it’s a pretty special moment. To do the burnout at the end was pretty cool too, I’ve always wanted to do that.”
JAMIE WHINCUP – Car #88
Qualifying 2 – Third (Fastest Lap: 1:27.0942)
Top Ten Shoot Out – 10th (Fastest Lap 1:31.5703)
Race 2 – Fourth (Fastest Lap: 1:28.2236 )
Championship – Second (3168 points)
“It was a tough race starting from 10th but we had an awesome fight with David Reynolds there at the end. We couldn’t quite get to third for a podium finish but we had great pace and had a few good battles. We’re stoked for Red Bull Racing Australia to get a one-two in the Championship and a big congratulations to Shane and the car 97 crew for bringing home the win. We’ll take a break now and try to come back stronger next year to try and get the number one back on car 88.”
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