SVG says his title defense is now alive and well

SVG says his title defense is now alive and well
October 13, 2017 | 9:31 am | Author: Steven Wright

The reigning series champion maybe down in the dumps after a poor Sandown 500, but the fifth place at Mount Panorama has suddenly given him full confidence in his title defense again.

Finishing in mid-field at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 last led Van Gisbergen to say his title defense is dead which was echoed by his team boss Roland Dane.

He told reporters at Sandown barely a fortnight ago he believed his title defense was in tatters in the wake of a horror enduro.

The Holden ace saw the deficit behind series leader Scott McLaughlin of Ford blow out from 258 to 414 points after finishing 16th in Victoria.

September might be the month he was hoping but come October the Flying Kiwi is smiling after repairing the damage he did in the previous month.

Yet van Gisbergen has arrived at Mount Panorama a changed man, his luck didn’t change where he hit the wall at the Dipper on top of the mountain halfway through the final one-hour practice session on Thursday, prompting a red flag.

His luck did change on Sunday where the Kiwi recorded a fifth-place, but it wasn’t as simple as it seems.

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The 28-year-old was in control of the race on the lap 144 restart where he ran off at the final corner which the GRM Holden of Garth Tander followed him.

But with the non-finish for Scott McLaughlin and 20th for Jamie Whincup where both of them were hampered with engine dramas has put Van Gisbergen within the 300 points heading into Gold Coast.

“I wouldn’t say the championship is over,” he told AAP.

“It hasn’t been a disappointing season for me, there’s just been a bit of disappointment at a few races this year. But I am not thinking about the championship – there’s still a few rounds left yet.”

Photos: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images AsiaPac