Shane van Gisbergen’s car felt like “it’s got a mind of its own” in Adelaide
Van Gisbergen, 131 points behind Brodie Kostecki, was 10th on Friday morning
Broc Feeney was 22nd after picking up engine issues
Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Manager says Shane van Gisbergen’s car felt like “it’s got a mind of its own” at the VAILO Adelaide 500, with Broc Feeney's Camaro set for an engine change.
Practice 2, topped by Tickford Racing driver Thomas Randle, was a frustrating outing for Triple Eight, with van Gisbergen 10th and Feeney 22nd.
Van Gisbergen ran in the top five before the final runs, but remained in the garage amid a steering rack problem for the reigning champion's #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro.
Feeney, meanwhile, is set for an engine change before Friday afternoon qualifying, with the team readying a new engine before Practice 2.
According to Dutton, the Feeney engine “got a little bit hot" at a recent ride day, but the team had already pre-empted a change prior to qualifying.
Dutton said the team managed to learn some things in the dry session, but said the issues ultimately masked his drivers' ultimate pace.
It comes early in a weekend that van Gisbergen could win a fourth Supercars title, with championship leader and Erebus Motorsport rival Brodie Kostecki sixth in Practice 2.
“We did some good learning anyway [but] the rack wasn’t right,” Dutton said on the broadcast after Practice 2.
“They pushed through, but then when you’re trying to put [new tyres] on, as much as you want to see it, you can’t ask them to go 10 tenths on the green run.
“You can do the used tyre run, you can learn, learn, learn, but when it’s a hundred per cent lap, the car needs to be better than it was.
"To put it really simply, it feels sometimes like it’s got a mind of its own, so it’ll move under braking, it’ll track. The point is, Shane and all drivers need to be in control.
“To the road car layperson, you sometimes could be excused for thinking that they’re out of control, but they’re never out of control — they’re in control.
“So, the rack gives them the feeling of being out of control, not controlling the car totally.“[That’s] why he’s like, ‘I can’t do 10 tenths because I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s not doing everything I want, it’s doing a few things on its own merit’.”
Van Gisbergen has already changed a chassis mid-season, with the New Zealander winning in Sydney before taking out the Repco Bathurst 1000.
“Definitely, he has amazing feeling — you could argue the best feeling up and down pit lane,” Dutton said of van Gisbergen.
“I think the track record and the trophies probably attest to that, so that comes with the downside that sometimes, when you’re feeling everything at ultra-high sensitivity, if it’s not quite right, it’s not fun to drive and not safe to drive in his opinion.
“The car’s not about to steer into a wall and crash — it’s not to that extent, but it gives that feeling and that’s a very unnerving feeling.”
Van Gisbergen trails Kostecki by 131 points with 300 available at the VAILO Adelaide 500.
Supercars will return to the track on Friday for Race 27 ARMOR ALL Qualifying at 5:35pm local time/6:05pm AEDT. The 10 quickest drivers in qualifying will set the run order for Saturday’s ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout, which will finalise the grid for Race 27.