Van Gisbergen wants to maintain McLaughlin, Whincup form

Shane van Gisbergen is wary of dropping his guard against a Supercars field without the likes of Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup.

Van Gisbergen wants to maintain McLaughlin, Whincup form

As of next season the Kiwi will be the last of the 'big three' drivers – van Gisbergen, McLaughlin and Whincup – left in the Aussie category.

The trio split the last six titles between them in what has been an intriguing, tense, and at times explosive battle between Triple Eight and Dick Johnson Racing/DJR Team Penske.

With three-time champion McLaughlin now racing in IndyCar, and Whincup set to make his final full-time Supercars start at Bathurst in just under a fortnight, freshly-crowned two-time champ van Gisbergen says its important that he doesn't "drop to everyone else".

He says he felt even this year, without McLaughlin and with Whincup perhaps distracted by his impending move to team management, that he had to push himself to keep improving as a driver.

"I would have loved to have raced [McLaughlin in 2021]," said van Gisbergen.

"I was thinking about it – there's been three guys the last few years and our level has just gone crazy. I had to lift to Scotty, had to lift to Jamie, and we've all pushed each other.

"One of them is gone and the other has got, probably, a lot of outside factors that influence him. Maybe it didn't.

"But I've got to keep focussed, stay above that level and not drop to everyone else.

"It's been awesome, this championship the last few years, trying to catch someone and perform to your peak and keep learning. And I think this year I kept getting better.

"I've got to keep focussed and keep improving."

Van Gisbergen dominated the 2021 title fight, with 14 wins setting him up to claim the crown in Sydney yesterday with a round to spare.

He did so in somewhat bizarre circumstances, with the race called off due to bad weather, however he was set to wrap up the title anyway as long as he finished within 49 points of teammate Whincup.

The only outside chance of him not officially being crowed champion is some form of points penalty at next week's Bathurst 1000.

shares
comments
Sydney Supercars: Finale declared, van Gisbergen crowned 2021 champion
Previous article

Sydney Supercars: Finale declared, van Gisbergen crowned 2021 champion

Next article

Why Supercars doesn't use a full wet tyre

Why Supercars doesn't use a full wet tyre
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020