A supplied image obtained Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 of Shane Van Gisbergen of Red Bull Racing Australia during the Coates Hire Sydney 500,  at the Homebush Street Circuit, Sydney, New South Wales, December 03, 2016. (AAP Image/Edge Photographics) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A supplied image obtained Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 of Shane Van Gisbergen of Red Bull Racing Australia during the Coates Hire Sydney 500, at the Homebush Street Circuit, Sydney, New South Wales, December 03, 2016. (AAP Image/Edge Photographics) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY MARK HORSBURGH

Van Gisbergen celebrates with victory burnout

MOTORSPORT: Shane van Gisbergen celebrated securing the Supercars drivers' championship in style by winning the final race of the season on the streets of Sydney.

Having sewn up a maiden title on Saturday - and the first by a Kiwi since Jim Richards in 1991 - the Red Bull driver was free of dealing with the pressure of protecting a championship lead and dominated the final ever race on the streets of Sydney.

He celebrated with a spectacular burnout after first grabbing the chequered flag and cruising down the main straight with his team clapping him on.

Garth Tander signed off from his time with Holden Racing Team by finishing second as the team finished its last race with Holden factory backing.

Championship runner-up Jamie Whincup battled David Reynolds for the final podium spot in the closing stages but Erebus driver Reynolds managed to hang on for confidence-boosting win after a difficult season.

New Zealander Scott McLaughlin finished fifth and secured third place in the championship as a result.

Tander started from pole - his first in four years - and got the better jump but van Gisbergen (pictured) covered the chasing pack and held them at bay.

The New Zealander settled into a nice rhythm and got on Tander's bumper for a number of laps before finally sneaking past into the lead on lap 20.

Earlier, van Gisbergen reflected on breaking through for his first title by finishing clear of Red Bull teammate and six-time winner Whincup.

"It's a pretty awesome feeling,” said van Gisbergen of Saturday's championship- sealing third place finish.

"To get back to the pits after the race to see my father, mum and the rest of the team so stoked was really great.

"It's been a pretty awesome few years in the series and now to finally be champion of your sport is achieving a life-long goal.

"It hasn't sunk in at all yet, it's all pretty fresh.”

NZ HERALD


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