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HomeNewsFEATURE: WHERE DOES 'SVG' SIT AMONG THE ALL-TIME GREATS?

FEATURE: WHERE DOES ‘SVG’ SIT AMONG THE ALL-TIME GREATS?

SHANE van Gisbergen now sits fourth all-time for the number of race wins in the Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship after overtaking two former champions during his clean sweep of Symmons Plains last weekend.

van Gisbergen now has 58 Supercars Championship race wins, passing 2007 champion Garth Tander and three-time champion Scott McLaughlin (56 each), with only Jamie Whincup (124), Craig Lowndes (110) and Mark Skaife (90) in front of the reigning champion.

The Kiwi dominated the Supercars Championship in 2021, recording 14 wins out of a possible 30 races last year and has started his title defence in similar fashion, scoring four wins in the first five races.

The two-time champion is now one of the greatest drivers in terms of race wins – but how does he stack up against the greats if we look at his success in terms of win percentage?

We have crunched the numbers and have found that while van Gisbergen is passing driver after driver on the race wins list, he still has some way to go to be considered one of the best of all-time if percentages are to be used as the judgement tool.

Where is van Gisbergen now?

The Triple Eight driver debuted in Supercars at Oran Park in 2007 and has since started 454 races for four Supercars teams – Team Kiwi Racing (2007), Stone Brothers Racing (2008-2012), TEKNO Autosports (2013-2015) and Triple Eight Race Engineering (2016-present).

Shane van Gisbergen at Symmons Plains in 2016, his first season with Triple Eight. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

van Gisbergen has claimed victory 58 times in those 454 races, giving him the ninth best percentage (12.8%) of wins in the history of the ATCC/Supercars Championship of drivers who feature in the top 20 for race wins (Chaz Mostert currently sits 20th on the championship race wins list with 17 wins).

Allan Moffat is likely to never have his record broken – the ATCC legend recorded 36 wins from his 104 race starts, a staggering 34.6% race win percentage!

#DriverStartsWinsWin Percentage
1Allan Moffat1043634.6%
2Jamie Whincup55412422.4%
3Scott McLaughlin2545622%
4Marcos Ambrose1472819%
5Mark Skaife4799018.8%
6Craig Lowndes67411016.3%
7Peter Brock2964816.2%
8Jim Richards1692313.6%
9Shane van Gisbergen4545812.8%

van Gisbergen debuted as a full-time Supercars driver in 2008 with Stone Brothers Racing but took until the 2011 season to find his first win on home soil in Hamilton.

Shane van Gisbergen chats with Mark Beretta in the wake of his first Supercars Championship race win in New Zealand in 2011. Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley.

The 2020 Bathurst winner scored another win in 2011 at Hidden Valley, before moving to TEKNO Autosports for the 2013 season where he won nine races between 2013 and 2015, taking his total at that point to 11 wins from 274 starts – a win percentage of only 4%.

It was joining Triple Eight in 2016 that accelerated van Gisbergen’s charge up the race wins ladder, scoring 47 wins out of 180 starts – a 26% win percentage as a Triple Eight driver.

van Gisbergen won 20% of all races between 2016 and 2020, however what is also significant about those five years is that he was competing against another Kiwi driving at his very best – Scott McLaughlin, who won 35% of all races in that same 2016-2020 period.

With McLaughlin now over in IndyCar in the United States, ‘SVG’ has had clear pathway to boost his winning percentage.

Where will van Gisbergen be in the future?

Between the start of 2021 and Albert Park 2022 (a total of 36 races), van Gisbergen has won 50% of all races held.

van Gisbergen appears to be at the peak of his career and it’s hard to know when he’ll be on the other side of that peak with the very real potential of another two or three championship wins and multiple Bathurst 1000 wins with the best team and car in the championship.

The 2016 and 2021 Supercars Champion at speed at Symmons Plains, 2022. Photo: Supplied.

Could he possibly become the greatest New Zealand ATCC/Supercars driver of all time?

Statistically, van Gisbergen is already in front of Greg Murphy in terms of championship wins (two to none) and championship race wins (58 to 28) and is halfway to matching Jim Richards’ four ATCC crowns.

The parallels between van Gisbergen and Richards are interesting – they both will drive literally anything and everything on bitumen and dirt and are considered the racer’s racer of their respective eras.

The one area that van Gisbergen sits a long way behind Richards on is Bathurst 1000 success. He has one win from 15 starts (6.6%) and Richards won seven times from 35 starts (20%).

How will van Gisbergen be one of the greatest?

Should van Gisbergen win at the same rate he is currently winning at (50% since the start of 2021), he could well be within striking distance of Mark Skaife’s tally of 90 wins by the end of 2023.

Should he reach that number in that timeframe, he could also increase his win percentage as high as approximately 17%, moving him past Lowndes for sixth on all-time win percentage.

van Gisbergen’s current Supercars achievements put him on a few special lists, and while he might not be deemed one of the all-time greats just yet, he’s well on the way based on his current form and position with Triple Eight Race Engineering.

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