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Bizarre Scenes As Van Gisbergen Can’t Shut Door in Bathurst 1000

The mountain is hard enough to climb without this.

Shane van Gisbergen, who won the 2016 Supercars Championship but has never won Bathurst, was in a good position early in the Great Race today. Then on lap 44, unexpected disaster.

The door on the driver’s side opened and wouldn’t shut. It simply refused to latch. Frantically, he tried his best even as he drove around the famous Mt Panorama circuit at speeds which at times approached the 300 km/h mark.

Driving one-handed over the top of the hill, the 30-year-old Kiwi was finally able to jam it shut. It wasn’t 100 percent secure and still looked to be a little ajar. But his one-handed efforts did the trick.

Shane van Gisbergen's door open as he drives. Image: Network 10

“It wasn’t closed properly but I couldn’t open it again, so it was pretty interesting,” van Gisbergen told Network 10 as he took a break.

The Red Bull Commodore of van Gisbergen and Garth Tander fell to fifth place shortly afterwards, 17 seconds behind leaders Chaz Mostert and James Moffatt in the Supercheap Auto Racing Mustang about a third of the way through the 161-lap race.

“We lost about five seconds,” van Gisbergen said.

“It’s bloody boring,” he joked.

“Everyone’s spread out at the moment. We’re just trying to catch up.”

Shane van Gisbergen drives with a malfunctioning door. Image: AAP

But catch up they did. After 85 laps, Tander and van Gisbergen led.

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Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, the so-called “Dream Team” who are together again at Bathurst for the first time in 10 years, sit second. Pole marker Scott McLaughlin is third in his Mustang. Mostert and Moffatt are fourth.

We’ll have more updates throughout the afternoon, and you can of course catch all the action on Network 10.