3 Dec 2016

Van Gisbergen quickest in practice in Sydney

5:41 am on 3 December 2016

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has started the final round of the Australian Supercars series in Sydney in perfect style, smashing the lap record in hot conditions during practice at Sydney Olympic Park.

Shane van Gisbergen at Pukekohe.

Shane van Gisbergen at Pukekohe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The young New Zealand driver is looking to claim his first ever Supercars title at this weekend's season finale on the streets of Sydney.

Van Gisbergen leads six-time Champion Jamie Whincup by 191 points with 300 points up for grabs across this weekend's two 250 kilometre races.

Temperatures climbed into the mid-30s, forcing drivers to take a number of precautionary measures to fight the intense heat. Despite the hot conditions, six drivers finished under the lap record at Homebush.

Whincup and Tim Slade also set impressive times in practice as did another New Zealander Scott McLaughlin ahead of his final event in a Volvo this weekend before he moves to a DJR Team Penske Ford next year.

This weekend's event will also be the last for Walkinshaw Racing as the official factory backed Holden Racing Team. It will also be three-time Bathurst champion Garth Tander's final race for the team.

The first 250 kilometre race will be held today ahead of the final 250 kilometre race on Sunday.

27-year-old van Gisbergen needs to just finish the weekend's racing to claim the 2016 driver's title.