It was the turn that shocked Sandown.
With less than three laps remaining, Shane van Gisbergen, broken collarbone and all, pulled off a move for the ages as he went past Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup with one slick inside play to move to second.
It was described as “unbelievable, truly unbelievable to have grabbed two cars in that move” in commentary between Neil Crompton and V8 Supercars legend Mark Skaife.
It was the move that led to the 31-year-old Kiwi — two weeks after requiring surgery on his left-shoulder following a mountain bike accident — claiming another championship win.
“What a move from van Gisbergen,” Skaife said.
“He was able to capitalise on all of this chaos. I thought Whincup was going to grab both of them, he couldn’t quite get it done but when Jamie runs a little bit wide with Mostert, have a look at the momentum of van Gisbergen and bang, two for one, over and out, had a little bump with Mostert and grabbed second spot.”
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Only a few laps earlier, the 2016 Supercar champion had surprised many by changing his rear tyres late in the SuperSprint.
“You would have never considered at any point that van Gisbergen could win today’s race,” Skaife said.
“They’ve stopped last, they came in on lap 25, he’s got the freshest tyres, they made a bold move because they put two tyres on the rear of the car.”
Ultimately, that “bold move” was the difference, as he pulled away from Cameron Waters to claim race three.
“His pace was already good,” Skaife told Fox Sports following the win.
“But what I was really impressed by was when van Gisbergen came in on lap 25, they put fresh tyres on the back of that car. So they must have been dealing with an oversteering balance because if you put fresh tyres on at the end, after that duration, it would normally give the car so much understeer you couldn’t balance it up. So he did a beautiful job … ominous signs for the field when you win three championship races in a row.”
Making the race all the more remarkable, it was the first time in a SprintRace that someone had come from that far back (17th) on the grid.
“Nobody in the history of this game has ever won a championship race, so a SprintRace format, from that far back on the grid. It’s a historic win for van Gisbergen,” Skaife added.