A REPCO Bathurst 1000 win would be the cherry on top of a season where Shane van Gisbergen has both had his cake and eaten it too.
The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver secured his second Repco Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park last weekend off the back of 14 race wins among 23 podium finishes and 27 top 10 finishes across this year’s 30-race season.
Victory in last year’s Bathurst 1000 means van Gisbergen and co-driver Garth Tander both head to Mount Panorama pursuing back-to-back ‘Great Race’ wins as drivers.
It’s a feat that has been achieved more times than you might expect.
Bob Jane, Allan Moffat, Peter Brock (twice), Jim Richards (twice), Larry Perkins (twice), Mark Skaife (twice), Steven Richards, Greg Murphy, Rick Kelly, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have all won the race in consecutive years.
While those 11 drivers have all achieved it, back-to-back wins have not occurred since Lowndes and Whincup’s three-peat across 2006-2007-2008.
In contrast, van Gisbergen’s car is contending for a rare piece of history.
Triple Eight chassis 888A-054 – nicknamed ‘Chastitii’ – is the only Bathurst 1000-winning car on the grid for the 2021 race.
It has been the Kiwi’s car since the start of the 2020 season and has a perfect record at Mount Panorama.
Van Gisbergen and Tander piloted it to victory at Bathurst last year, which SVG followed up with a clean sweep of the two races at the Mount Panorama 500 in February.
Should the #97 Holden keep its Bathurst record intact on December 5, it will become just the third car to win the ‘Great Race’ more than once.
The only two cars to achieve that feat so far are both Holden Commodores.
Peter Brock and Larry Perkins won the 1982 and 1983 Bathurst 1000s in the same Holden Dealer Team-built VH Commodore, the pair joined by John Harvey in the latter year.
Mark Skaife’s ‘Golden Child’ Holden Racing Team VX Commodore is the other car to achieve back-to-back victories, winning with Tony Longhurst in 2001 and Jim Richards in 2002.