It was quite the weekend for Kiwi Supercars driver Shan van Gisbergen, who owned the streets of Adelaide in the season opener of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Van the Man won everything in sight. He grabbed both poles and won both races. That sort of performance enabled van Gisbergen and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team to leave South Australia with a 32-point lead in the championship standings.
Van Gisbergen’s teammate Jamie Whincup failed to finish a Supercars race for the first time in 136 jumps.
The crowds at Adelaide were quite impressive. Over 85,000 turned out, leading us to suspect that not all of them were from town.
We interrupt our report for a riddle.
What do you give to an ailing British pop diva who has decided that live concerts are no longer her cup of tea?
Van Gisbergen, despite winning both poles and both races, said of the Sunday 250 km finale, “Jamie (Whincup) had the car to beat today and we went a bit far with our set-up and we were no good compared to yesterday. It’s a real shame we couldn’t get a one-two … I hate getting points gaps like that but that’s part of racing and hopefully we can have fairer battles for the rest of the year.”
Van Gisbergen won the Supercars title in 2016 and with his exploits in Adelaide; he became just the third driver to claim four consecutive victories in the City of Churches.
David Reynolds took second place in his Erebus Motorsports entry, saying afterward, “If you said I was going to be fourth and second and second in the championship coming out of this round I would’ve taken it every day of the week. A part of me is kind of happy but also bitterly disappointed that I didn’t hold him off and try to win the race.”
Monday through Friday, however Mr. Reynolds, the streets of Australia’s fifth largest city belong to the commuters, much more dangerous that piloting a racer around streets where everyone is headed in the same direction.