With the bulls ready to burst out the gate and into the new season, the memories of last year’s success fill us with drive and motivation for 2019.
With six past Adelaide 500 winners in the 2019 field, Shane “SVG” Van Gisbergen heads into the opening race holding a perfect streak of winning four pole positions and four race victories since 2017.
“Adelaide is always the best way to start the season; great event, awesome crowd and a cool city.”
“It’s always exciting to see the new cars, teams, drivers and how everyone will go after a big off season,” he said.
But a bumpy test day in Phillip Island for both our drivers meant there’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes preparations.
“The preparations are going good,” SVG continued.
“Although we struggled for outright pace on the test day, we learnt a lot during it, particularly a huge amount of parts and setup combinations.”
“Hopefully working with the engineers, I’m sure we will be closer to the front at Adelaide,”
“There’s no surprise we had a tough test day,” said J-Dub, who himself is a four-time Adelaide 500 winner.
“We didn’t achieve what we wanted to so there has a been a lot going on from test day to understand where our lack of performance was.
“Mechanically the car was quite good, but it comes down to set up and performance which is where our focus has been since the test day.”
A new season brings a fresh start and opportunity to leave behind what was 2018 and focus on goals for 2019.
“A big goal for 2019 is to make less mistakes,” said J-Dub.
“In 2018 we had a fast car, we had all the tools to do the job, I had one of the best crews working on my car in pit lane, but we just failed to get the results that we should have deserved mainly through not making ourselves luck and therefore making too many mistakes.”
With a few new cars on the grid for 2019 (can anyone hear some neighing in the background?) the competition is going to be more intense than an Adelaide heatwave.
“Every year the competition keeps getting stronger and stronger, and this year is no different,” J-Dub said.
“We are coming in with confidence but at the same time are very aware, the changes in the rules especially dumbing down of the cars with linear springs will certainly change it up a bit and we will see car performing much better than they did.”
With tough competition, soaring temperatures and 500km on the track, the drivers admit their minds don’t always focus on driving and the road ahead.
“Why don’t they make tires that don’t wear out!” said J-Dub.
Meanwhile, Car #97 may just need a new feature designed specifically for SVG’s Commodore:
“Normally at Adelaide some point during the 250km race I’m wondering how we can get an ice bath into the car for next time!”
Tune in from 28 February and we’ll have all the action covered with live race updates on our Twitter account.
Jamie’s Predictions for Adelaide:
Fastest lap time – 1.20.0’s
One to watch – SVG
Biggest challenge – Sunday night and avoiding the Fringe festival crowd.
Adelaide in three words – Likely very hot.
Shane’s Predictions for Adelaide:
Fastest lap time – 1.20.0
One to watch – Mustangs
Biggest challenge – The heat
Adelaide in three words – Hot. Tough. Hot.