Triple Eight Team Manager Mark Dutton believes Shane van Gisbergen’s chassis woes weren’t related to his Tasmania crash.
Van Gisbergen raced chassis 888A-060 for the first six rounds of 2023, and battled handling issues in Darwin and Townsville.
The reigning champion was shifted to Triple Eight’s wildcard chassis — 888A-063 — for the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.
Van Gisbergen was straight on the money at Sydney Motorsport Park, winning Sunday’s race from pole — his first victory since April.
Chassis 888A-060 was crashed by van Gisbergen in Race 11 at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint in May — which preceded Darwin — forcing the Kiwi into his first DNF since 2020.
Both 888A-060 and 888A-063 were taken to Sydney, and back-to-backed by the team during Monday’s ride day.
“We don’t think it’s a lingering [issue from Symmons Plains],” Dutton explained in the post-race press conference.
“It’s more of a little bit of a wear issue and the parts being manufactured at the extents of their tolerances.
“We don’t want to have a chassis that you deem to be unfit, so tomorrow we’ll test it and we think it’ll have a clean bill of health.
“We were in the very, very fortunate position to have a chassis to be able to swap into that was the only reason we did that; just belts and braces.
“We knew we couldn’t roll out with even half a per cent of doubt in our mind.
“Given that we had the opportunity to roll out with a car that Shane did do a couple of laps in at the wildcard test, why wouldn’t you do it?”
Van Gisbergen praised his crew for working through the ongoing issues, having scored two podiums in seven starts after his Tasmania crash.
With victory in Sydney, van Gisbergen — who now has four wins — is just 54 points behind series leader Brodie Kostecki, who will race alongside the Kiwi in the Indianapolis NASCAR race on August 13.
“I’ve got to thank the guys,” van Gisbergen said.
“They’ve done so much work trying to understand what the problem I’ve been having is with the steering in the car.
“I drove out on the wildcard test day [in the wildcard chassis] and the car was completely different.
“So, we knew there was something to find, we think we’ve found it in the other car, so it will be good in the ride day to verify it.
“It’s been a difficult couple of months, I guess, but yeah, I remembered how to drive this weekend, it feels like.
“It’s been difficult.”
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the OTR SuperSprint on August 18-20.