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SVG bemoans car troubles despite stunning charge

09 Jul
'We were really lucky to end up where we did'
2 mins by James Pavey
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Shane van Gisbergen has hailed his mechanics for rescuing his NTI Townsville 500 weekend amid ongoing car problems.

Van Gisbergen, who arrived in NASCAR in the wake of his NASCAR win, put on a stunning charge from 20th to fifth on Sunday.

The reigning champion was plagued with car issues in Darwin, and they seemed to carry over to Townsville.

After Friday, van Gisbergen admitted the ongoing problems with his #97 Camaro were “gutting”.

Van Gisbergen — a 10-time winner at Reid Park — qualified dead-last on Sunday, and was turned around on lap 1.

However, he reeled off passes and fought off-sequence to gain 20 positions, the most by a driver since van Gisbergen himself at Albert Park last year.

Critically, van Gisbergen left the weekend closer to the points lead than how he entered the weekend.

“The biggest credit for this weekend goes to our mechanics,” he said.

"They busted their asses all weekend to try and make the car go better, but we keep finding so many problems.

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"It’s a shame that they’re parts that we can’t go back to the workshop and make better – we have to deal with these things, it’s tough.

"I had a lot of car troubles in today’s race. The steering had a mind of its own, my throttle was jamming and cutting out, and my brakes weren’t working.

"At every brake zone, I was hoping my throttle was going to return and had my foot hovering over the clutch in case that happened.

"We were really lucky to end up where we did and we obviously got a decent points haul, but overall it was a really tough day.”

Van Gisbergen and teammate Broc Feeney’s Sunday ended in drama over a team orders incident, which was later described as a “breakdown in communication”.

The Kiwi remonstrated over team radio during the race, but later posted to social media that he accepted the decision.

"When you’re in the heat of the moment behind the wheel it can be tough to swallow some things,” he wrote.

“But I understand the team’s decision. I’ll support my team all the way.”

Van Gisbergen is 72 points behind championship leader Will Brown heading to the next round at Eastern Creek.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Tickets are on sale now.

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