Now sitting second on the championship leader board and the only driver to win three races in this year’s championship so far, we reckon Shane van Gisbergen is going to be one hard Kiwi to beat.
A second place and a win at the Townsville 400 put SVG firmly back on the championship map after he’d languished in fifth spot since a slippery (pun very much intended) Symmons Plains. Now we’re at the halfway mark in the season, it’s time to cast away that DNF like the pit crew does their sweaty socks after a race weekend – yup, we just burn everything – and set our eyes on the prize.
With the #97 Holden’s best results yet in the bag, and hopefully the Queensland Raceway home advantage just around the corner, we fired off a few quick questions to the man behind the man behind the car, Grant “Shippy” McPherson.
A great weekend for the team and car 97, you must be pleased with the results.
The Townsville circuit is certainly a highlight on our calendar and one of the most difficult circuits to get right. To achieve a 1-2 on Saturday, and follow that up with the win on Sunday was just terrific.
Shane was in prime form as was the car – did everything just fall into place? Or were there some issues behind the scenes?
We had to work quite hard on Friday to improve the car, as it didn’t roll out of the truck very well at all. On Sunday we flat-spotted the front left tyre very badly, which triggered a switch of strategies with Jamie and Cauchi. Unfortunately for car 88, the first safety car was poorly timed & really hurt their chances of regaining track position.
Shane is now sitting second in the championship. After the DNF in Symmons Plains, did you ever believe you would be back up the top?
That issue occurred in only the second event of the year, so we always knew that there would be plenty of time to recover. But in reality, the Championship is something that we won’t focus on until after the Gold Coast 600.
Heading into QR, do you think you think you have the formula down pat?
Our last test day was quite productive and definitely gave Shane more confidence, particularly in qualifying. Everyone else is working just as hard behind the scenes to improve their cars, so we know that we have to keep working hard to improve ourselves. Having pace at the last two circuits doesn’t guarantee anything in the future, and we need to keep developing to ensure that we can keep our momentum going.
The RBRA crew are excited to finally be on home turf with the upcoming Ipswich SuperSprint, July 22-24. Tickets are still up for grabs here.