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Mar 15, 2014 - 06:37 PM
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Van Gisbergen goes for four straight at Albert Park
Posted by: newsla on Mar 15, 2014 - 06:35 PM
Sports Cars
Van Gisbergen goes for four straight at Albert Park


Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen is confident of becoming the first man in more than 15 years to clean sweep the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

 

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Van Gisbergen scored a hat-trick with victory in the third MSS Security Challenge race of the weekend with one, and double points, to come tomorrow at the Grand Prix.

Not since Russell Ingall in 1988 has a single driver won every race at the Melbourne feature. Having led home fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard and Craig Lowndes, Van Gisbergen has a shot at it. He will also need to stay in the top three to be guaranteed overall race victory.

A third Kiwi in Scott McLaughlin was fourth in his Volvo S60.

Van Gisbergen led from start to finish, though a number of laps were under safety car, with carnage on the first lap. He now plans to do the same tomorrow.

"The points gaps will be bigger tomorrow so it's easy for someone to catch up on you. We just have to stay at the front or top three. We've got the good car and the restarts have been good. We just need to stay out in the front again," Van Gisbergen said.

The young Kiwi flier was battered by a gale force wind, as all were. It then started to sprinkle on the final lap.

"It was quite close again today but a lot of us were making mistakes. The wind was very strong wind at turn nine and eleven so a lot of us were going off there" he said.

"Craig was pretty quick there in the end I could see him coming along nicely. Then we were unsure of the grip level on the last lap and when you have huge rain drops on your screen you are never going to be fully committed."

Lowndes blamed an early lap error for not fully threatening Van Gisbergen. He, too, was a victim of the wind at turn nine.

"We made a mistake earlier in the race through my own stupidity but the car worked really well today. The track conditions were hotter today so we made some changes that worked," he said.

Van Gisbergen led from start to finish, though a number of laps were under safety car, with carnage on the first lap.

Contact between Chaz Mostert and Garth Tander spun the Pepsi Max Crew Falcon at turn seven, and Dale Wood in his Team ADVAM/GB BJR Commodore could not avoid ploughing into the car.

Neither Wood or Mostert will contest tomorrow's final race. The ADVAM Racing outfit of Brad Jones Racing has just spent two weeks repairing Jason Bright's car from a monster Adelaide crash.

Bright had dramas of his own - after a short battle with Tander the #8 was in the pit lane with the bonnet up.
There were ramifications for well-placed Will Davison, who dropped from the top 10 after the restart into the pits after a tyre puncture.

Tander, Michael Caruso (Nissan), Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and Todd Kelly completed the top 10.

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