After his performance in Austin, Team TEKNOVIP Petfoods’ Shane van Gisbergen said he was looking to improve hisqualifying. But how does one do that, exactly? It’s about setting the car up sohe is comfortable in it.
“The car’s always good in the race,” vanGisbergen said. “But even when I was with Stone Brothers Racing we struggledwith qualifying. It’s a personal thing as well as getting the car sorted, butit’s getting better.
“We need to nail it every time.”
At season opener the Clipsal 500 vanGisbergen took ARMOR ALL Pole Position – but it wasn’t recording the quickest timein the session (he recorded the second fastest time, behind Craig Lowndes). Hequalified on pole by running fastest in the ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout.
And while there hasn’t been a shootout inthe weekend format since the third Championship event at Pukekohe Park Raceway, it will return for the SKYCITY Triple Crownto determine the grid for Saturday’s race.
Van Gisbergen said he enjoyed the variousformats of qualifying, though there was a lot more pressure during the shootout.
“I enjoy even the 15-minute ones… but theshootout is the toughest as it’s the most nerve-wracking,” he said. “On the bigscreen TVs you can see yourself and all eyes are on you in the shootout, soit’s more pressure.
“I enjoy all types of qualifying – Ijust need to get a little better.”
After the team’s results dropped away for afew events, van Gisbergen feels some good improvements have been made with thecar and was pleased with the podium he earned at the Austin 400.
“Each track we go to I’m always excited toget there and just go racing.
“Darwin is a pretty good event – the wholetown stops and gets behind it, we get looked after up there.
“I’m looking forward to getting there.Because of the heat, the track is hard on tyres, but the racing is quite good.”
Interestingly, Hidden Valley is the onlypermanent circuit van Gisbergen has won at – his other career victorieswere at street races in Adelaide and Hamilton in New Zealand.
When ‘The Gis’ won at the Top End in 2011,there was plenty of drama. And while some drivers have mentioned thepossibility of chaos with the 60/60 double file rolling restart, van Gisbergenlaughed after what had happened in the past.
“I remember the Saturday in 2011 a bit happenedwith (Jamie) Whincup and (Mark) Winterbottom on a restart.We ended up crossing the line four wide – a rolling start is nothing after whatwe’re used to from that year!
“We got a bit lucky with the strategy onthe Saturday, but had quite good pace as well; we passed a few guys at the endfor the win.”
Van Gisbergen said he would be happy in thetop five in Darwin, to bag some points and improve his Championship position,as he currently sits sixth overall.
“I think you don’t know who’s going to winnext week… I’m finding it is so exciting, there’s so many teams to win races,which is the opposite to last year and it’s really cool to be a part of.”
As well as racing in the V8 SuperTourersNew Zealand Championship, van Gisbergen is also hoping to compete in a rallycar shortly. “I’m enjoying driving and racing at the moment, it’s so much fun.”
For more information on the SKYCITY Triple Crown visit the event page; tickets are through Ticketek.