V8 super car driver Shane van Gisbergen is on the verge of becoming the first New Zealander to win the championship for 25 years after qualifying on pole position for today's penultimate race of the season in Sydney.
The 27 year old Holden Commodore driver from Auckland only needs to finish fifth to secure the title.
He will start on the front row of the 250 km race after posting the fastest qualifying lap around Sydney Olympic Park in a time of 1 minute 26.627 seconds.
Beside him will by his team mate and closest rival for the championship, Jamie Whincup, who was only a tenth of a second slower in qualifying.
The last New Zealander to win the championship was Jim Richards in 1991, who says van Gisbergen's breakthrough season is due to his Triple Eight racing team.
"He's brilliant...one of the best out there," said Richards when asked about the driver known affectionately as the Giz.
"We've seen it coming for a few years obviously, he's had flashes of brilliance. But this year Triple Eight have really brought out...well a professionalism, but brought out a calmness to him."
"He's not racing for every single race, win at all costs."