SVG bullish about Gold Coast prospects
SHANE van Gisbergen is on top of the Supercars world.
Van Gisbergen will hit the streets of Surfers Paradise this weekend with the chance to prove he is the next superstar of Supercars.
Van Gisbergen, who drives for Brisbane-based Red Bull Holden Racing Team, holds a 19-point lead at the top of the championship standings heading into the Gold Coast 600.
The Kiwi speedster is in the box seat to claim his second Supercars title in three years after breaking through in 2016.
With seven-time Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes retiring from full-time driving and teammate Jamie Whincup, a seven-time championship winner, in the back end of his career, Supercars is on the hunt for a new dominant force.
Van Gisbergen has the potential to be a king of the category, but said he had to emerge from the concrete canyon unscathed to hold off Ford rival Scott McLaughlin and continue his championship charge.
"This weekend has so many different unknowns and anything can happen," he said.
"We've got all the right tools so anything can happen if we stay out of trouble.
"Our car is always good here. We've had a good preparation and been strong the last few rounds.
"We've got all the right ingredients.
"If we come here and make no mistakes we'll be okay. I'm hoping for two good days."
Van Gisbergen, 29, has been in sensational touch for most of 2018.
He has only been outside the top six in three races and was on a streak of eight consecutive podium places before finishing fifth at Bathurst a fortnight ago.
"Earlier in the season I made a few mistakes and we had a couple of mechanical issues," he said.
"The car has been pretty good from mid-season onwards and we've stepped forward and got better.
"It's been a good improvement and results have been on the up.
"The biggest thing has been the teamwork of the three cars (in the team). We work so closely together and keep pushing."
Former Supercars star and Fox Sports commentator Russell Ingall said Van Gisbergen had to be on his game when practice starts today to avoid blowing his championship hopes.
"It's game on and we come to the most unpredictable joint and a street race," Ingall said.
"It's not a big track but it's seriously easy to stick a car in a wall and it's game over, possibly for the weekend.
"They (Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin) will play the game and say the pressure's not getting to them but behind the scenes their backsides will be clenched pretty hard.
"It doesn't take much. Hit the kerb the wrong way and you're out watching the rest of the field all day.
"This is a big race."