Motorsport: Shane van Gisbergen overcomes injury and starting position in record-breaking Supercars win

Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen has broken one of the oldest records in the Supercars Championship history, with a remarkable win from a starting position of 17th in the opening race of the Sandown SuperSprint.

The win was made even more remarkable given the fact van Gisbergen broke his collarbone two weeks ago and had nine screws inserted into his shoulder just 14 days ago.

The victory, claimed in front of the first audience of Victorian fans since the Covid shutdown, was the greatest start-to-finish result at the historic Melbourne circuit.

Before yesterday Norm Beechey’s record of winning from a start of 14th place on the grid in 1956 was the best start-to-finish result.

The result means van Gisbergen has now won all three races of the 2021 Supercars Championship, and extends his winning streak to four after claiming last year’s Bathurst 1000 as well.

Speaking after the race, van Gisbergen was grateful for the support he’s received during his recovery.

“I had so much help the last couple of weeks with good surgeons, the hyperbaric chambers, nice girlfriend looking after me, our physio,” he said. “It’s been a pretty tough two weeks but I feel awesome in the car and obviously my car’s great. Hopefully that was a good show to watch. I was trying.”

While admitting the pain from his brutal injury was still there, he said he’s determined to keep driving.

“I didn’t know how good I was going to be over a distance. My pain’s no worse than it is. I should be alright tomorrow.

“It hurts but I’m not damaging it by driving so yeah try again tomorrow.”

It was his 43rd career victory and extends his Championship lead over Chaz Mostert who started from pole position.

Mostert led late in the race but a poor start in the end meant he ran out of steam to finish sixth. He retains second in the Supercars Championship, but is now 60 points behind a still unbeaten van Gisbergen.

The race itself was a see-saw affair with Mostert and Waters leading for the majority of the race until the fast-finishing van Gisbergen, who pitted later than anyone else in the race to try and finish with fast tyres, flew past everyone over the dying laps to claim the lead on the final lap and drive to victory from there.

There will be two further races on Saturday.

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