Bathurst heartbreak "forgotten"

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 29/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke and Samantha McLaughlin

The heartbreak of last year's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is behind Shane van Gisbergen, as the quick Kiwi looks to make amends at the Mountain this year and catapult his name upthe Championship standings.

Van Gisbergen, paired with team boss Jonathon Webb, looked the goods to win the 1000km classic last year, before stalling his TEKNO Commodore in his pit-bay. While that usually just means some lost time, in van Gisbergen's case he was unable to get the car started again. He had started the race on ARMOR ALL Pole Position after a spectacular shootout lap, but it wasn't to be in 2014.

The result left he and Webb devastated, though they bounced back at the following round at the Gold Coast to take a race win.

Twelve months on and van Gisbergen hadn't given last year a second thought.

"I don't know, I've sort of forgotten about it," van Gisbergen told v8supercars.com.au.

"I'm more focussed on this year really.

"We're pretty confident - there are some pretty quick cars and combos this year. Sandown we showed we can run with them, but they're pretty quick. For us, we're trying to get our car better but I think we can have a good shot at it again."

The second part of last season saw van Gisbergen propel up in the standings, finishing an exciting second to Jamie Whincup, despite being as low as sixth after Queensland Raceway, with 13 races to go.

This time around the quick Kiwi sits seventh in the order, 595 points away from leader Mark Winterbottom and feels the title fight is still wide open.

It has been a tough run for van Gisbergen who suffered issues in Townsville, Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park - but after finishing third on the podium at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, the 26-year old said he had his confidence back. And at the right time, too - "because you don't really want to go to Bathurst without any".

"We're right in the Championship hunt at the moment, I think, of we ... have a good Bathurst or Gold Coast," he said.

"So we're going to be pushing hard and we want to finish on a high with these things."

While van Gisbergen is flamboyant in a V8 Supercar, he's known for jumping into anything with an engine and giving it a good go.

The jetsetter competed with Von Ryan Racing in the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Nurburgring earlier this month, standing on the top step with Rob Bell and Kevin Estre despite starting from 24th on the grid.

While he has always said V8 Supercars was his top priority, van Gisbergen has received encouragement from Tekno boss Steve Hallam to take up other drives where possible.

"Just getting to race there was such a cool experience and I had such a good time, but then to come home with a trophy as well was amazing," van Gisbergen said of the race.

"So I really enjoyed Europe this year and then I got to drive around the Nordschleife on Monday as well so it was pretty cool just to go and see those places."

Tune in to tonight's episode of Inside Supercars for more with van Gisbergen, on FOX SPORTS 506 at 7.30pm.

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