Well what a weekend Sandown was! Van Gisbergen clearly the star of the show after injuring his shoulder he drove from P17 in the first race of the weekend to finish 1st and then continued his form through the second race of the weekend. Teammate Jamie Whincup finished third and fourth respectively.
Van Gisbergen said after the race “It was treacherous conditions all day to be honest, especially for the first race today. I didn’t have much grip at the start of the first race and dropped to third, but then the car started to find it’s groove. Chaz (Mostert) was super aggressive at the start and I had a great battle with him which was a lot of fun. Once we got to the front, my car got better and better and we made the perfect call to pit and change tyres; it was conservative, but we weren’t really undercut by anyone around us, so it worked really well.”
“Once we came out of the pits, it was all about managing the car and being safe. For the second race, it was super wet at the start and really hard knowing what the grip would be like, but again the car was great. I pulled a bit of a lead on Brodie (Kostecki) so he wasn’t really close enough to pressure us, but I definitely saw him coming and I knew I had to take a bit more of a risk, which we did. I had the car to really push when I needed to.”
“This weekend is honestly a dream result which probably no one thought was going to happen, including myself. I knew right from the first lap on the first day when I started hitting the curbs that I was going to be ok, and then it was about making the car better. Chris Brady (Team Physio) was awesome all weekend managing my pain as well – I can’t thank him enough. It was a super awesome weekend for the team.”
Earlier in the weekend the wet conditions made track conditions treacherous for the first of two 10-minute qualifying sessions. Qualifying for Race 4 saw a red flag in the opening minutes, but once the session resumed, Will Davison clocked a time fast enough for P7 while his teammate Anton De Pasquale was just once place behind in P8.
Rain continued for the start of Race 4, leaving teams no option but to fit the Dunlop wet tyre compound. The opening lap saw the field jostling for track position as they negotiated the wet and slippery track.
Shell V-Power Racing Team drivers De Pasquale and Davison had just begun to settle into a rhythm when the safety car was called on lap 4 after Jones suffered a mechanical, dropped oil on the track and stopped on the grass. Davison was positioned in P7 and De Pasquale in P9 at the restart which came on lap 8.
De Pasquale struggled with car set-up in the wet conditions causing him to drop down the order in the first stint. Davison had better pace in his No. 17 Ford Mustang and fought to hold his position inside the top 10.
The rain eased as the race progressed, and when the track started to dry out, the team opted to switch to slick tyres during the compulsory pit stop. De Pasquale was the first of the Shell V-Power Racing Team cars to pit, which he did on lap 21. Davison followed just three laps later.
Davison and De Pasquale were P11 and P18 respectively once all stops were completed, but disaster struck when De Pasquale had an engine problem on lap 28. He could not continue the race and was forced back to the garage.
Meanwhile, Davison trucked along comfortably in clear air after moving up once place to P10.