Motorsport: Kiwi champion Shane van Gisbergen continues winning ways with Supercars victory at Melbourne

Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen has - again - done his talking on the track, taking out the third race of the Australian Supercars season at Melbourne's Albert Park.

The two-time defending champion has now crossed the finish-line first in all three races of the 2023 campaign so far, although he was later stripped of the opening victory at Newcastle, after his rivals protested his use of dry ice in his cooling system.

After crashing in the opening practice session, van Gisbergen qualified third on the grid, but quickly showed he was in no mood to lag behind, passing polesitter Anton de Pasquale on the third of 19 laps and managing his lead through pit stops.

The Kiwi suffered a slow stop with one lap remaining, losing most of his lead, but held off Brodie Kostecki by 0.3910s for victory.

After his practice setback, van Gisbergen bounced back to qualify on pole for Friday's Race Four, also part of the support programme for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

"Thanks to my team, Red Bull Ampol Racing," he said. "After what I did to the car this morning, trying to write the thing off... to fix it up like they did for two good qualies and race win, I'm stoked.

"I didn't think it was too bad, but we got back and front was just destroyed. Normally, with the old car, you would've made it out for practice two, so there was a bit of a panic, am I going to make it out for qualifying, what's it going to feel like...

"For the guys to just take their time and make sure it was right, that's really cool."

The result leaves van Gisbergen still languishing down the championship table in seventh overall, 106 points behind leader Chaz Mostert, who finished fifth.