SVG: TEKNO must eliminate errors

  • 31/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Shane van Gisbergen admits he and his TEKNO Autosports team need to eliminate errors before thinking too much about winning this year's V8 Supercars Championship.

Van Gisbergen and the single car team ended 2014 second in the standings and while the young Kiwi came out of the box strong at the Clipsal 500 - ending the feature Sunday race second to James Courtney - he is yet to record a race win or pole position this season.

Sitting seventh in the Championship, he's 206 points off leader Mark Winterbottom coming off particularly tough events in Perth and Winton.

In Perth his team decided to take a risk on strategy and save an extra set of hard Dunlop tyres for Sunday's race - but a poorly timed safety carand having to double stack in pit lane foiled their chances of a good result.

On Saturday in Winton the team recorded two top 10 results, but Sunday again hit hard with a strategy error from the team ultimately leaving the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore to finish 23rd.

"We were pretty fast at Winton, we had [an eighth and a fifth] on the Saturday, we were looking really good. But then on Sunday we just made mistakes with the pit strategy. It happens - on to Darwin now," van Gisbergen said simply.

The 25-year old suggested that reacting better under pressure was an improvement they needed to make- and until they tidy up the errors, the team wouldn't be a Championship contender.

"At Darwin we have a new car, and we've just got to make things better with the pit strategy and be a bit quicker thinking on our feet - so hopefully that will make the difference. We're not really thinking about the points," he said.

This year will be van Gisbergen's last to try for the title with TEKNO, as he moves to Triple Eight next year. He currently races a Triple Eight car, as TEKNO is a customer of the benchmark team, but next year his will be one of three entries alongside Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, with the licence required to underpin the entry (Racing Entitlement Contract, REC) confirmed on Friday.

"Making mistakes like we did doesn't make you in the Championship, so first we have to fix the mistakes and be consistent every weekend and then move back up the order," van Gisbergen said.

"We have a few things to fix first before we think about going for a Championship."

The team will shakedown van Gisbergen's new chassis in the lead up to Darwin, but the Kiwi was disappointed not to have sent off his last car with better results: "It's been pretty good to us the last few years," he said.

Hidden Valley - home of the SKYCITY Triple Crown, running from June 19-21 - has also been good to TEKNO over the last few years.

The Sunday race, which was the only mixed tyre compound race in 2014, provided an exciting finish with van Gisbergen hunting down then title leader Mark Winterbottom. The previous year team boss Jonathon Webb, in his final year as a full-time driver, was the top point-scorer for the round.

"We have gone well there the last few years. The first year Webby and I were one-two for the weekend [in points] and then last year we had a really good race for the lead to the last lap with Frosty, so pretty exciting.

"New car, we'll shake it down for Darwin and take it up there. It shouldn't be too different chassis wise but just new, fresh; it will be fine."

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