Go hard or go home

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 12/04/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Shane van Gisbergen wants more tit-for-tat V8 Supercars racing like he had with Mark Winterbottom off the start-line in Tasmania.

The Red Bull recruit and the current champ showed no mercy on the front row when the lights went out in the 200km Sunday race to the spectators’ delight.

Quick Kiwi van Gisbergen is known for his aggressive and flamboyant style and given a taste of his own medicine by ‘Frosty’ he said, “It was on the edge, but I loved it”.

“He gave me a couple of rubs, and I gave him some back and it was just hard fought racing,” van Gisbergen told v8supercars.com.

“In the car it was flat out and once we sorted out the positions, he just pushed me the whole way. I went and saw him after the race and we both shook hands, we were both pretty pumped – that’s how the racing should be.”

Van Gisbergen attributed the tough racing to the new format and tyre allocation for 2016.

“From a driver’s point of view, I think what they’ve done with the formats this year [helps]. Giving soft tyres and more tyres, you have that confidence to pass and to race, knowing you can come in grab more tyres and go again.

“It’s not conservation racing anymore, you’re flat out the whole way, which is what drivers and people want to see.”

The new Red Bull recruit’s results were the story of the last event, the 26-year old showing dominant form across both days but getting caught out on spilled oil and sliding off on Sunday.

He battled teammates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes across the two days, and said he is getting used to managing the contest within the team.

At the Australian Grand Prix van Gisbergen said he had to think twice about how to pass Whincup for the lead.

But that question has evaporated, after a clean pass at the hairpin on Saturday and with the knowledge the three cars should be in that position many times this season.

“We raced hard on Saturday and Jamie ended up letting me by there, I had a bit better tyre quality. I raced Craig on Sunday as well and it’s good.

“We know where the limits are and we’re racing hard – when you’ve got three cars up the front you’re going to come across each other at some stage, so as long a we keep it clean we’ll be able to keep fighting.”

Van Gisbergen is looking forward to a return to Phillip Island, a place shrouded in controversy for him last year after a clash with David Reynolds that effectively ended the latter’s championship bid.

He sits seventh in the championship standings, 70 points behind leader Will Davison.

Tune into Inside Supercars tonight from 7.30pm AEST on FOX SPORTS 506 for more from van Gisbergen.

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