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HomeNewsVan Gisbergen’s unwanted chance to join Adelaide greats

Van Gisbergen’s unwanted chance to join Adelaide greats

SHANE van Gisbergen’s rivals are convinced the Triple Eight star remains a threat for victory in the Saturday leg of the Adelaide 500, despite being set to start last.

The 2022 champion-elect will line-up 25th on the grid after a mistake at the final corner of his flying lap in Friday evening’s qualifying session.

Van Gisbergen later lamented he was asking too much from his unruly car, which is carrying a special Holden tribute livery as the marque bows out of the sport.

Chaz Mostert topped qualifying with his Walkinshaw Andretti United Commodore, but is wary of van Gisbergen’s speed in the race.

“It’s Shane, you’ve seen comeback drives from him that have been unbelievable,” said Mostert of the Kiwi’s chances.

“I’m sure he’ll have a good car underneath him. That thing has been pretty fast in a straight line so I’m sure he’ll make some work of some people.

“Hopefully we’re all starting far enough up the front that he doesn’t catch us but we’ll see how tomorrow goes.”

Speaking after qualifying, second-fastest man Anton De Pasquale of Dick Johnson Racing added: “He’ll be strong.

“He has probably been the fastest to this point and in race trim we know that thing grabs another gear so we wouldn’t be surprised (if he’s in the mix), but 25th is a long way back too.

“It depends how the race pans out with Safety Cars and all that stuff, who knows.”

Skaife (middle) on the podium. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

A back-to-front victory wouldn’t be without precedent at the Adelaide 500.

Holden Racing Team stars Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife performed such miracles during the first two years of the event in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

In 2000 Skaife started from 38th and last on Sunday due to a rear-of-grid penalty for carrying out a Compulsory Pit Stop under Safety Car in the Saturday race.

The lowly starting slot and a stop-go penalty for speeding in pit lane couldn’t prevent Skaife from charging to victory in a rain-hit race.

That remains the lowest starting spot for a race winner in Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars Championship history.

MORE: When Skaife won Adelaide from 38th

Lowndes celebrates. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

Skaife’s heroics followed Lowndes’ famous effort from 1999, where he was forced to start the Sunday leg from the rear due to a penalty for an incident on Saturday.

Lowndes lined up 36th on the Sunday grid and won.

His official starting position however was the third-place grid slot he’d taken on Saturday, as that first Adelaide event was considered a single race split over two segments.

All five of van Gisbergen’s Adelaide 500 race wins to date have come from pole position.

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