Shane van Gisbergen crowned champion as second Sydney race abandoned
Shane van Gisbergen has been crowned Supercars champion for the second time in his career after the abandonment of the second race of the final meeting of a month-long stint at Sydney Motorsport Park left him with him an unassailable lead in the standings.
With rain falling, qualifying for the second 250km race of the weekend proved to be an interesting affair that resulted in Nick Percat grabbing a surprise pole ahead of van Gisbergen, David Reynolds and Tim Slade.
Van Gisbergen’s team-mate Jamie Whincup had been one of a number of drivers to go off track in the session after sliding off into the barriers at turn one, whilst the conditions would result in some of the fancied runners being out of position for the start – including Will Brown down in 16th and Anton De Pasquale in 17th.
Conditions would remain wet throughout the day – leading to a no result in the preceding Super2 race after an incident at turn one – which meant the start of Round 30 would be delayed by 15 minutes; with the action finally kicking off with the field circulating behind the safety car.
With drivers reporting on the radio that they were struggling to get any heat into the rear tyres and with water running across the circuit at various points, the decision was taken by race control to halt the action, with the field heading back into the pits at the conclusion of five laps under caution.
After 45 minutes with the cars parked in pit lane, the decision was then taken by race control to abandon proceedings as conditions worsened and it became clear that racing wouldn’t be possible.
With the lack of laps meaning no result was declared – and therefore no points awarded – van Gisbergen ends the month-long stay in Sydney with a lead of 349 points over team-mate Whincup with only the Bathurst 1000 left to run.
As well as securing the championship crown for the first time since 2016 – giving Triple Eight a second title in as many days after wrapping up the teams’ crown on Saturday – van Gisbergen also lifted the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup and the $25,000 cash prize for being the highest scorer across the Sydney meetings.