Van Gisbergen 'seconds from disaster' in Bathurst win

12 Oct
How Jamie Whincup advice and Shane van Gisbergen management delivered tense Bathurst victory
  • Shane van Gisbergen won Bathurst with cracked gear tower

  • Triple Eight to review the issue to make it "bulletproof"

  • Broc Feeney, Craig Lowndes cars suffered similar issue

Jamie Whincup advice and Shane van Gisbergen management helped Triple Eight deliver a nervy 10th Bathurst victory due to a cracked gear lever riser.

Van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway won Sunday’s Repco Bathurst 1000 after similar issues for the Broc Feeney/Whincup and Craig Lowndes/Zane Goddard sister cars developed into failure.

The race appeared set for a Red Bull Ampol Racing one-two before Feeney’s gear lever mount broke with 25 laps to go. The Lowndes/Goddard wildcard had already suffered two broken gear lever mounts.

Sunday’s Great Race was an otherwise day of low attrition, with Gen3 reliability an impressive footnote across both long distance races. Of the 28 cars that started Sunday’s race, 24 finished, and only two DNFs were mechanical-related.

Triple Eight’s hopes, however, nearly went array completely during Sunday’s race, with van Gisbergen's Race Engineer Andrew Edwards revealing car #97 also had a cracked riser.

Edwards indicated Triple Eight had been using an older revision of the gear tower, and said the team will review the issue and make it “bulletproof”.

Late heartbreak for Feeney/Whincup

"Initially, I wasn’t going to tell [van Gisbergen] but Jamie’s advice was, let him know because he could do something about it, which he was dead right in the end,” Edwards told the Inside Supercars podcast.

"So, we let him know and he just softened up the way he used the gear tower which obviously helped a lot.

"Because, two out of our three cars it happened to… there’s no reason why it wasn’t going to happen to the third, because the other ones happened pretty close to each other so, lifing wise, they’ve all done similar things.

"So, you can expect it almost to happen to the third one, so that advice was good from Jamie, and Shane did drive differently from there with the lever for the rest of the race.

"It looks like it was on its way to do the same thing as the others, so I think the way he managed it there… we were seconds from disaster again."

Van Gisbergen came home in the end, delivering a record 10th Bathurst win for Triple Eight — something that wasn’t lost on Whincup.

Recap: Race 24 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000

“I’ve always said this place is about the effort, and I couldn’t be happier with everyone’s effort this weekend,” he said.

“What you don’t see from the outside is the grind that goes on for a full month before this event, let alone the huge week we embark on, but everyone played their role and did a phenomenal job.

“To have two cars in contention for a podium, if not a one-two, is just a true credit to everybody.

“It didn’t go our way for #88 and I’m gutted for Broc and the #88 team because they deserved more after the fantastic week they had, but as a team we won the Bathurst 1000 so we should still hold our heads very, very high.

“To win this race is not about having the quickest car, it’s about all the one-percenters and all the attention to detail to make this a great team.

“It’s pretty special to win 10 Bathurst 1000s in 20 years. To come to this great race that’s so easy to lose and to win 50 per cent of the time is massive, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Related News