IF anyone had doubts about how badly Shane van Gisbergen wants to win the Bathurst 1000, they were most certainly dispelled on Sunday.
The defending Supercars champion ultimately placed fifth in the battle for the Peter Brock Trophy, but before he saw the chequered flag he had driven like a man possessed.
Van Gisbergen’s co-driver Matt Campbell had struggled in the rain – running off at Murray’s Corner numerous times as well as being spun at The Cutting on his first out-lap. It saw the #97 Red Bull Racing Commodore go a lap down and slip as low as 22nd position.
However, van Gisbergen showed why he is considered one of the best wet weather drivers in the series as he charged through the field. By lap 121 he remarkably had the lead.
Two more mistakes cost van Gisbergen, the first coming when the 2016 runner-up went off at Murray’s Corner when leading the race on lap 144 following a safety car period.
That dropped him to 14th and while he recovered to third by lap 148, he then went off at The Chase trying to pass Scott Pye and was forced to pit.
He re-emerged in 12th and fought his way back up to fifth, but knew a chance at victory had gone begging.
“We were pretty happy with our race car today, we did a good job the last few days to make it good and we had a pretty good opportunity to win today,” he said.
“I just made too many mistakes at the end there, misjudging the conditions, being the pioneer at the end there and we threw it away.”