Motorsport: SVG secures Endurance Cup now eyes championship

Shane Van Gisbergen and Alex Premat celebrate after winning the Pirtek Endurance Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Shane Van Gisbergen and Alex Premat celebrate after winning the Pirtek Endurance Cup. Photo / Getty Images

Now that is un-Australian.

For the first time an international drivers pairing has claimed the Supercars' Enduro Cup after Holden's Shane van Gisbergen dominated the Gold Coast 600 weekend.

Flying Kiwi van Gisbergen and co-driver Alex Premat of France finished 159 points ahead of Holden's Will Davison and Jonathon Webb in the endurance rounds' standings after impressing on the tourist strip.

Van Gisbergen is also in sight of a maiden Supercars title after grabbing a 148-point lead over Holden teammate Jamie Whincup in the drivers' championship with two rounds left.

After van Gisbergen claimed Saturday's Gold Coast opener, Whincup held out his trans-Tasman teammate to clinch line honours in the second 300km race at the notorious street circuit on Sunday.

It was a shot in the arm for Whincup who was dismissed as "un-Australian" by Supercars boss James Warburton for launching a controversial Bathurst 1000 appeal.

Whincup copped plenty of flak after his team's failed protest against a 15-second time penalty that cost him a fifth Bathurst 1000 crown.

But van Gisbergen was the name on everyone's lips after clinching the Enduro Cup at the Gold Coast 600 - the third and final endurance round.

Remarkably, van Gisbergen's Red Bull Racing team has won three of the four Enduro Cups since its 2013 inception.

"I am in a good spot and it's the best opportunity I've had to get a championship," van Gisbergen said.

"But there's still 600 championship points up for grabs and anything can happen."

Van Gisbergen may have turned the most heads on the Gold Coast.

However, the Kiwi speedster reckoned plenty of credit had to go to Premat.

Van Gisbergen believed Premat had silenced his critics after the veteran's signing with the Holden team for the endurance rounds this year raised eyebrows.

"I think a few people should apologise to him - he's done a fantastic job," van Gisbergen said of Premat.

"Enduro Cup is getting more and more prestigious each year and our record from this year is pretty tough to beat.

"We're very lucky guys to be driving this car and carve through everyone like we did."

Van Gisbergen is in the box seat to seal the 2016 title with the next round in his native New Zealand - Auckland from November 4.

And the final round is held in Sydney on a street circuit - his preferred format.

Not that van Gisbergen was getting ahead of himself.

"We just have to make sure there are no mistakes," he said.

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