Motorsport: Van Gisbergen backs Bathurst chances

Shane Van Gisbergen. Photo / Getty Images
Shane Van Gisbergen. Photo / Getty Images

Ford driver Shane Van Gisbergen feels Sunday's Bathurst 1000 represents the best chance of his V8 Supercar career to claim a Mount Panorama win.

The young New Zealander has been the surprise package of the 2010 V8 Supercars season, claiming several podium finishes to find himself fifth in the championship standings.

That means the 21-year-old is amongst vaunted company with four-time Bathurst champ Craig Lowndes above him and two-time winner Garth Tander below in sixth.

The Stone Brothers Racing pilot has made three Bathurst 1000 starts, for a best-place finish of 13th last year with Alex Davison, but he believes his 2010 form suggests something special could happen on Sunday.

"We've had a good year so far, we've got a great car and team," Van Gisbergen said.

"Definitely it's my best shot at it. It'll take a lot of hard work and preparation, which I've had, and obviously a lot of luck as well.

"If we put it all together on race day and we're there at the end with 30 laps to go, we might have a shot."

For all his impressive racing, Van Gisbergen is still waiting for an elusive first win in his V8 Supercar career.

A lowly 27th place with New Zealand-based co-driver John McIntyre at last month's Phillip Island 500 was a massive disappointment for Van Gisbergen, but he firmly believes he can break his V8 duck at the biggest motorsport event in Australia.

"Definitely nothing wrong with getting podiums but for sure it'd be great to step up,'' he said.

"If we get a podium here it'd be good for us and a great way to bounce back from Phillip Island, what happened there.

"We'll see what happens, just tune the car over the weekend and qualify well and Sunday, hopefully have a good day."

The Bathurst 1000 gets underway today with three practice sessions at Mount Panorama, with a further practice and qualifying session tomorrow, the top 10 shootout on Saturday before the main event, a 1000km endurance race, on Sunday.

- AAP

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