Shane van Gisbergen picked up a pair of stage wins and finished second overall in the National Capital Rally in Canberra.
The Kiwi drove his Red Bull Racing-clad Skoda Fabia R5 to wins in stages 12 and 13, cementing his place on the overall podium.
His total finishing time was 87 seconds behind winner Harry Bates in a Toyota GR Yaris AP4.
“The more experience we got, the faster we were going,” van Gisbergen said.
“We just needed to make sure we were there at the end and then we were pretty much flat out on those last three stages.”
The highlight for van Gisbergen was winning the rally’s power stage.
A faultless run in the bonus point finale saw van Gisbergen finish three seconds ahead of Bates.
“Pretty special,” he said of winning the stage. “I knew if we got it right we would be good.”
His Australian success adds to his class victory in the City of Auckland Rally in 2020 and his overall win in the Battle of Jack’s Ridge that same year.
Van Gisbergen says he would “love to do more rally” in the future, with his next opportunity potentially being the WRC Rally New Zealand.
For now, his focus returns to defending his Supercars title.
After two rounds, van Gisbergen has a 67 point lead.
Main Image: Epic Sports Photography