Bathurst comes second for Supercars leader van Gisbergen
AT LAST, superstitious Holden gun Shane van Gisbergen is talking about winning the Supercars championship.
And the series leader has not held back, saying sealing another drivers' title would rate higher than claiming the Supercars holy grail, next weekend's Bathurst 1000.
Van Gisbergen has taken a tight-lipped approach to adding a second championship to his resume since taking over the series lead last month.
Certainly the flying Kiwi doesn't have anything to crow about at Bathurst, managing just one podium finish in 11 attempts, when he placed second in 2016 - the year he claimed his maiden championship.
Yet van Gisbergen looks set to finally break his drought in October 7's Great Race after cruising to a 55-point series lead over Ford rival Scott McLaughlin.
However, the 29-year-old Red Bull Racing driver surprisingly claimed his focus was on the 2018 title.
"It would certainly be cool to have it (a Bathurst win) ... but I always want to win the championship more," van Gisbergen told Supercars.com.
"You have to go there and, if you can't win it, get as many points as possible.
"I will be there trying to win the race for sure and do everything I can to win it but if there is a big opportunity to score a massive amount of points I will try and take that too."
Van Gisbergen has come close to winning at Mount Panorama three times - first in 2014 when he led the field with 10 laps left before mechanical dramas intervened.
When he finished second in 2016 he was just 0.1434 seconds behind winner Will Davison - still the closest competitive Bathurst 1000 finish in history.
And last year van Gisbergen looked on track to snatch victory after powering through the field, only to veer off track and finish fifth.
Van Gisbergen can set up a second championship title with a Bathurst victory, which offers a whopping 300 points for the winner.
"It is a massive one-off race," said van Gisbergen, who will team up with rookie co-driver Earl Bamber at Bathurst.
"In 2016 I was second. I could have probably forced the issue a bit more and had a crack at Will Davison for the lead but we still played it safe.
"Back then I hadn't won the championship. I have now so if I am in that situation again I don't know how it would go - I hope we get to find out."