Van Gisbergen: Title boosts Bathurst 1000 chances

Shane van Gisbergen says he can have a proper crack at defending his Bathurst 1000 crown now the Supercars titles has been squared away.

The Kiwi wrapped up the 2021 title with a round to spare in Sydney last weekend, the Sunday wash-out leaving his 349-point lead unassailable heading to the season-closing Bathurst 1000.

Reflecting on the ramifications of having the title sewn up early, van Gisbergen reckons it's a big boost for he and Garth Tander's Bathurst 1000 hopes.

He says the pair can now run a more aggressive strategy aimed at a second straight Bathurst crown, rather than needing to be conservative to bank enough points for the title.

"None, anymore," said van Gisbergen when asked about the pressure of Bathurst.

"It's good, I can relax about it now. I can have a couple days to let this soak in and then focus on Bathurst.

"I think the most relieved guy is Garth. It's tough for the co-drivers, they haven't done enough miles, any of them. For him to just go and do his own prep and build up as he goes... even in the race he can get more comfortable and focus on winning.

"For us, we're not going to have to strategise around staying out of trouble. We are going there purely for the race win with both cars.

"It will be more intense, probably, going for the win. But it will be more enjoyable."

Van Gisbergen and Tander will head to the Mountain as one of the outright favourites.

Teammates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes will also be in the hunt at what will be Whincup's farewell as a full-time driver.

The group of pre-race favourites will also include in-form Anton De Pasquale and co-driver Tony D'Alberto, while Cam Waters was the pacesetter at last year's Great Race.

The Bathurst 1000 week kicks off on November 30 with the race itself on December 5.

2021 Bathurst 1000 entry list

Team Primary Driver Co-driver Car
Dick Johnson Racing Anton De Pasquale Tony D’Alberto Ford Mustang GT
Dick Johnson Racing Will Davison Alex Davison Ford Mustang GT
Triple Eight Race Engineering Jamie Whincup Craig Lowndes Holden ZB Commodore
Triple Eight Race Engineering Shane van Gisbergen Garth Tander Holden ZB Commodore
Triple Eight Race Engineering Broc Feeney Russell Ingall Holden ZB Commodore
Tickford Racing Jack Le Brocq Zak Best Ford Mustang GT
Tickford Racing Cam Waters James Moffat Ford Mustang GT
Tickford Racing James Courtney Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT
Blanchard Racing Team Tim Slade Tim Blanchard Ford Mustang GT
Erebus Motorsport Will Brown Jack Perkins Holden ZB Commodore
Erebus Motorsport Brodie Kostecki David Russell Holden ZB Commodore
Team 18 Mark Winterbottom Michael Caruso Holden ZB Commodore
Team 18 Scott Pye James Golding Holden ZB Commodore
Walkinshaw Andretti United Bryce Fullwood Warren Luff Holden ZB Commodore
Walkinshaw Andretti United Chaz Mostert Lee Holdsworth Holden ZB Commodore
Brad Jones Racing Jack Smith David Wall Holden ZB Commodore
Brad Jones Racing Nick Percat Dale Wood Holden ZB Commodore
Brad Jones Racing Todd Hazelwood Dean Fiore Holden ZB Commodore
Brad Jones Racing Macauley Jones Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore
Kelly Grove Racing Andre Heimgartner Matt Campbell Ford Mustang GT
Kelly Grove Racing David Reynolds Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT
Team Sydney Fabian Coulthard Jonathon Webb Holden ZB Commodore
Team Sydney Garry Jacobson Dylan O’Keeffe Holden ZB Commodore
Matt Stone Racing Jake Kostecki Kurt Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore
Matt Stone Racing Zane Goddard Jayden Ojeda Holden ZB Commodore
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