SVG quick as Red Bull chases trifecta

Champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen has claimed provisional pole position for the season’s final Supercars race in Sydney.

But a historic championship trifecta for his Red Bull Racing outfit is looking less likely.

Van Gisbergen posted the quickest time in qualifying on Sunday to earn a place in the top 10 shootout, a day after wrapping up the 2016 championship.

David Reynolds was second fastest, ahead of fellow Holden drivers Jamie Whincup, James Courtney and Volvo star Scott McLaughlin.

The best-placed Ford was in 13th.

While van Gisbergen and Whincup have secured the top two spots in the championship, third is up for grabs in Sunday’s 74-lap finale.

McLaughlin is just nine points ahead of Red Bull Racing stablemate Craig Lowndes in fourth.

If Lowndes moves up one spot, it will mark the first time a team has clinched a 1-2-3 season finish.

But Lowndes missed out on a spot in the top 10 shootout, meaning he will have to fight to get in front of a speedy McLaughlin.

Van Gisbergen said on Saturday getting the trifecta was a massive priority for his team.

“That’s something we’ve worked towards all year. We’ve worked together intensely, so it would be great,” he said.

The 27-year-old said that was his main thought in the last few laps of Saturday’s race, when he fought his way through the field from sixth to third.

“I tried to get in front of Scotty to minimise the damage to Craig,” he said.

“Hopefully he can have a good day and he can get himself back in front.”

Van Gisbergen, who has dabbled in other motorsport categories over the years, re-committed himself to Supercars after his championship victory on Saturday.

He said his overseas racing was all done to improve his performances in Australia.

“Every time I go overseas I experience cool things, but the best level of driving, the best series is always V8s.

“I’ll come back and try and defend next year.”

Whether or not he has the No.1 sticker on his car remains to be seen, with the star unsure if he can part with his beloved No.97.

Red Bull Racing will be Holden’s only factory-backed outfit in the series next year, after the manufacturer pulled out of Walkinshaw Racing’s Holden Racing Team.

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