V8 Supercars: Shane van Gisbergen does it again with Sandown clean sweep

Holden star Shane van Gisbergen has become the first driver since Mark Skaife in 1994 to win the opening five races of a Supercars season.
New Zealander van Gisbergen completed a clean-sweep of the Sandown Supersprint on Sunday - two weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken collarbone.

The wounded Red Bull Ampol ace wrapped up the weekend treble by winning the final 36-lap race at the Melbourne track in wet and slippery conditions.

Shane Van Gisbergen starts 17th, is fourth with four laps to go, makes a double overtake into second, and then takes the lead on the last lap. All with a broken collarbone.

Van Gisbergen's 45th career win was his fifth from as many starts this season to take maximum points from the opening two rounds.

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He finished 13 seconds in front of first-time podium sitter Brodie Kostecki (second), while Kelly Grove's David Reynolds ended up third.

Van Gisbergen was touch-and-go to even drive this weekend after injuring himself in a mountain biking accident earlier this month, but the pain of his fragile collarbone had no affect on his performance.

Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Shane van Gisbergen drives the #97 Red Bull Ampol Holden Commodore ZB to the chequered flag to win race 2 at Sandown.

His overall win streak is out to six when including his Bathurst 1000 triumph to end the 2020 season.

It's unreal. I've got to thank the team so much. The car's been awesome and everyone's been helping me through the last two weeks, he said.

I just hoped I'd be OK (after the surgery), yeah I'm hurting but it was fine.

The 31-year-old will have an opportunity at matching Skaife's six straight wins to open the season 27 years ago at next month's round in Tasmania.

Symmons Plains is always good, that track, and always good racing so I'll rest up the next couple of weeks and can't wait to get there, he added.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
A familiar sight in Melbourne at the weekend: a Supercars procession led by Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen.

Three-time defending champion Scott McLaughlin, who moved to America in October, won six consecutive in 2019 but missed race five of that season after an incident on the warm-up lap.

After pulling off one of the greatest wins in modern Australian touring car history on Saturday, Van Gisbergen comfortably handled the next two races.

Van Gisbergen has asserted himself as the new man to beat in McLaughlin's absence.

In a jaw-dropping performance on Saturday, the New Zealander made up a record-breaking 16 places on the grid to claim a famous win.

Van Gisbergen smashed a 56-year-old record for the lowest starting position to take the chequered flag at the Melbourne track.


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