SHANE van Gisbergen’s Sunday night shocker has tightened the battle for the $25,000 Beaurepaires Sydney Cup.
The one-off award will go to the highest points scorer across the four consecutive Sydney Motorsport Park events, of which the second was completed over the weekend.
Van Gisbergen leads Dick Johnson Racing’s Will Davison by 28 points after the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver recorded a win, a second and a 23rd from the most recent trio of races.
The 23rd place came in a dramatic wet night race during which van Gisbergen speared off and spun at Turn 1 at the resumption from an early Safety Car restart.
Van Gisbergen then received a drive-through penalty for overtaking Anton De Pasquale on that restart, which was subsequently rescinded when data showed the Ford driver had eased off the throttle.
The Kiwi’s hopes of a fightback though were dashed when he subsequently received a drive-through penalty for a bungled pit stop.
Davison had trailed van Gisbergen by 42 points in the Sydney Cup standings after the first event and chalked up a third, a fourth and a seventh across the weekend’s respective races.
The Saturday night podium came despite Davison being shoved wide by van Gisbergen at Turn 1, much to the Ford driver’s frustration.
De Pasquale meanwhile leapt from seventh to third in the Sydney Cup standings with a 12th (from the rear of the grid after a gearbox issue in qualifying), a first and a second.
He won two races the previous weekend but was disqualified from the other due to a tyre mix-up within the DJR garage.
The consistent Nick Percat and the winner of Sunday night’s red-flagged race, Jamie Whincup, complete the current Sydney Cup top five.
Like that of his Red Bull teammate, Whincup’s weekend also included a disastrous race; finishing 25th in Sunday afternoon’s encounter after tyre damage forced a second pit stop.
The Sydney Cup continues with another three races this weekend; one on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Sydney Cup standings after two of four rounds
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight||Holden||488|
|3||Anton De Pasquale||DJR||Ford||443|
|5||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight||Holden||427|
|10||Jack Le Brocq||Tickford||Ford||274|
|11||Scott Pye||Team 18||Holden||271|
|14||Mark Winterbottom||Team 18||Holden||260|
|19||Garry Jacobson||Team SYDNEY||Holden||190|
|21||Fabian Coulthard||Team SYDNEY||Holden||182|