SHANE van Gisbergen may have won only one race last weekend but he leads the way in the chase for the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup.
The trophy will be awarded to the highest point scorer across the four rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park, while the winner will also receive a $25,000 cash prize.
Van Gisbergen holds sway on 272 points with a sizable margin of 42 points back to Will Davison in second place on 230, while Will Brown (219), Nick Percat (214) and Brodie Kostecki (211) complete the top five.
However, the Kiwi is only leading the standings of the mini-series due to Anton De Pasquale’s exclusion from Race 2.
The Dick Johnson Racing driver swept all three pole positions plus the first and last races of the weekend and crossed the line in fifth place in the second race before being disqualified.
The team had accidentally fitted a tyre from a set allocated to teammate Will Davison at De Pasquale’s pit stop resulting in the #11 Ford Mustang’s exclusion and a $20,000 fine, with half suspended pending any repeat breaches before the end of the season.
“We had a little mishap in the pit stop there,” DJR team principal Ben Croke said.
“The wrong tyre was fitted to Anton’s car. It’s a mistake that we made, we’ve put our hand up, we accept the consequences.”
Along with costing the team $10,000, the exclusion stripped De Pasquale of the 74 points he would otherwise have earnt for fifth place.
Without the lost points, De Pasquale would instead be leading van Gisbergen by seven points, instead of trailing him by 67.
The result would also have been the first time De Pasquale scored the most points across a championship weekend, or a ’round’ win under the pre-2009 metrics.
A total of 930 points (including bonus points for the fastest lap of the race) are still up for grabs across the three remaining ‘Sydney Cup’ rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park, starting with this weekend’s ARMOR ALL Sydney SuperNight.
POINTS: Beaurepaires Sydney Cup after Round 1
|1||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight||Holden||272|
|6||88||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight||Holden||210|
|7||11||Anton De Pasquale||DJR||Ford||205|
|13||18||Mark Winterbottom||Team 18||Holden||134|
|14||5||Jack Le Brocq||Tickford||Ford||130|
|19||20||Scott Pye||Team 18||Holden||102|
|21||22||Garry Jacobson||Team SYDNEY||Holden||90|
|24||19||Fabian Coulthard||Team SYDNEY||Holden||72|