Dane backs SVG
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Triple Eight team boss Roland Dane has backed new charge Shane van Gisbergen, despite an impromptu decision to pit in costly circumstances.
Seeing Scott Pye run off-track into a gravel trap, van Gisbergen headed into the pit lane to complete a pit stop – only to find teammate Jamie Whincup already there being serviced.
While the decision was intended to pre-empt double stacking, not only did the #97 have to queue, it was incredibly costly in green conditions.
Van Gisbergen had been running sixth and was in the mix – and while it did not pay off, Dane did not want to discourage the quick Kiwi from making those split-second decisions that can often pay off.
“He was being proactive, which was good – but we already had a normal stop going on for Jamie,” Dane told supercars.com.
“He didn’t know that and hopped into pit lane.
“It’s one of those things, he tried to do the right thing but it didn’t come off.”
Van Gisbergen rejoined 19th and made it back up to 12th stating tyre life as an issue. Dane didn’t seem concerned about his pit stop call.
“Normally, it’d be a very good thing,” he said.
“Shane’s very good normally at reading those situations.
“There wasn’t a safety car in the end because the gravel traps were fairly easy to fire through this weekend. And even without a safety car it would’ve been less an issue if we hadn’t already been doing a pit stop.
“That can happen – he’ll bounce back from that.”
Van Gisbergen wasn’t pleased with the result after winning Saturday’s race.
He described the call to pit as “unlucky” and said it “screwed us up in a major way” in quotes issued by the team post-race.
“It was a tough day and it is always nice to end the weekend on a high,” he said.
“I go to Europe next weekend, then come back and focus the rest of the year on Supercars."
While van Gisbergen raced in the mid-pack, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup led the race, with fan favourite Lowndes taking his 12th race win at Queensland Raceway.
The three cars finished one-two-three on Saturday, with van Gisbergen taking the honours. He sits 110 points behind Whincup in the Championship standings.
Lowndes’ engineer Ludo Lacroix was seen rushing to the Red Bull garage talking animatedly during the race, as he is stationed with Lowndes in the TeamVortex garage next door.
“Ludo is animated even when he’s asleep so that’s nothing unusual,” Dane said of the interactions.
“We’re just keeping each other informed to what was going on.
“Today was very stress-free because Craig did a great job, Jamie did a fantastic job with those cars behind him. He didn’t have quite the early pace they had – they might have had greens like Craig did, Jamie didn’t.
“He did a great job as well so it wasn’t as stressful today as it was yesterday.”