Van Gisbergen: QR 'the real test' for T8

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/07/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam

Shane van Gisbergen says Queensland Raceway will be a sterner test of Triple Eight's progress than Townsville, where he claimed a win.

Van Gisbergen won Townsville's chaotic, rain-hit Sunday race, his and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team's second victory of the season.

It followed a second-place finish for team-mate Jamie Whincup on the Saturday, amid a development push to rectify a hot-and-cold 2019.

However van Gisbergen notes Triple Eight's strong record around the Townsville street circuit when addressing the notion the team is 'back'.

His Sunday Townsville victory took its tally at the circuit to 13 from 23 races since 2009, led by 10 alone for Whincup.

Teams will tackle the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint on July 26-28, with Triple Eight testing at Queensland Raceway this week.

"I think we've made a big step forward, tried a lot of different things on the car and it certainly feels a lot better," van Gisbergen said.

"I think we've got a lot of potential there and certainly made some steps forward, so that's awesome.

"But [Townsville], we've always done really well at, Jamie and I drive alright.

"So I think Queensland Raceway will be the real test, and we have a test day there before we race.

"So that'll truly show where we're at, but it was awesome to be able to fight."

Ford's new Mustang, particularly the Shell V-Power Racing variant of Scott McLaughlin, has dominated the 2019 season.

It has won 16 of the 18 races, van Gisbergen the outlier at Symmons Plains and Townsville.

Triple Eight has also been overshadowed at some events by fellow Holden squad Penrite Racing, whose David Reynolds claimed a Townsville pole.

"It's been pretty average for everyone not in a Mustang this year," van Gisbergen said.

"So [Townsville] it was great; a Holden got pole, Holdens were fighting for the wins, it was awesome.

"Some light at the end of the tunnel.

"Erebus are doing a good job as well, no excuses from our side, but I certainly feel like we're getting better."

Van Gisbergen and Whincup, who crashed out of the Sunday Townsville race, are now third and sixth in the championship, 499 and 640 points behind McLaughlin respectively.

At Queensland Raceway last July, McLaughlin and van Gisbergen split the race wins.

Both will be in action at Ipswich this Thursday, with the Red Bull HRT and Shell V-Power Racing undertaking their first private tests of the season.

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