With the only New Zealand race of the season upon us we have checked the forecast and unfortunately, we won’t be packing our jandals.
As we head across the Trans -Tasman for Round 11 it seems our Kiwi driver, Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen is the most excited member of the team and who could blame him.
“For me it’s better racing in New Zealand and being able to stay at home is cool,” SVG said.
“It’s awesome to have friends and family there over the weekend and it’s a pretty good track as well.
“I always seem to have many more friends than normal this weekend too as everyone wants free tickets,” he added with a laugh.
Having grown up in the area SVG should be sweet as and know Pukekohe Park Raceway like the back of his hand.
“Every lunch time we would sneak out and onto the track, do some laps and play around in our Utes,” he said.
“I’ve done plenty of laps out there on the track; love the track, love the place.”
But being back in the homeland means extra attention for the Kiwi and plenty more to do both on and off the track.
“It’s always full on for the Kiwi drivers when we head out to Pukekohe,” said SVG.
“Luckily there are Kiwis in good cars and we always get good results so hopefully it will be the same this weekend.”
While SVG will be feeling right at home, teammate Jamie ‘J-Dub’ Whincup, has his fingers crossed that the cars are in tip-top shape rolling out of the plane.
“I thought we were immune to rolling out where we did but unfortunately, we started off slow again at The Bend and we are hoping it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
We hope so too as Auckland has been filled with wins for J-Dub, just check the stats for yourself.
J-Dub currently holds the second highest number of wins at Pukekohe- six wins in fact!
So, what’s the secret behind J-Dub’s success?
“The car in the past has traditionally been good there mainly from the fact that it rides the bumps well,” J-Dub said.
“But unfortunately, this year the track has been smoothed and resurfaced through the first sector so it will be interesting to see what the car handles like now that the track is new.”
As we are only one round away from The Great Race, there really isn’t a lot of time left for trial and error according to J-Dub.
“It’s always important to head into the season of endurance with a strong performance in the round before, so we are looking to have a good and solid weekend with minimal mistakes,” he said.
We are kiwing it from Friday September 13th and bringing the heat with us from the Sunshine State with live updates on our Twitter account.