Wow. What a weekend for Red Bull Ampol Racing at the Sandown SuperSprint. Just, WOW!
Not only did the team walk away with three wins, five podiums and two pole positions (and a handful of wreaths to add to the collection), we were also left wondering; is Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen even human?
Just shy of 14 days from breaking his collar bone in a mountain bike accident, SVG and his clipped wing jumped back in the hot seat of car #97 to continue his winning streak of six Supercars race wins in a row; a career best.
Speaking after his bag of wins on Sunday, SVG had nothing but praise for the team after some tough racing conditions.
“It was treacherous conditions all day to be honest, especially for the first race today. I didn’t have much grip at the start of the first race and dropped to third, but then the car started to find it’s groove,” he said.
“Chaz (Mostert) was super aggressive at the start and I had a great battle with him which was a lot of fun. Once we got to the front, my car got better and better and we made the perfect call to pit and change tyres; it was conservative, but we weren’t really undercut by anyone around us, so it worked really well.
“Once we came out of the pits, it was all about managing the car and being safe. For the second race, it was super wet at the start and really hard knowing what the grip would be like, but again the car was great. I pulled a bit of a lead on Brodie (Kostecki) so he wasn’t really close enough to pressure us, but I definitely saw him coming and I knew I had to take a bit more of a risk, which we did. I had the car to really push when I needed to.
“This weekend is honestly a dream result which probably no one thought was going to happen, including myself. I knew right from the first lap on the first day when I started hitting the curbs that I was going to be ok, and then it was about making the car better. Chris Brady (Team Physio) was awesome all weekend managing my pain as well – I can’t thank him enough. It was a super awesome weekend for the team.”
For Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup, a handful of podium places was enough to catapult him to second on the driver’s championship leaderboard, 150 points behind SVG.
Summarising his Sunday performance, and his weekend overall, JDub believes he’s finding a rhythm with car #88 and his new engineer Wes McDougall.
“It was a hard day with obviously appalling conditions with so much sitting water. The first race started off wet and I had a good battle with SVG into turn one and then just made a few little errors and lost a few spots, but happy to capitalise on P3,” JDub said.
“The car was really fast in the dry conditions, so I was hoping Race 3 was going to be dry but unfortunately the heavens fell out of the skies just before the race and it was quite wet and quite tricky conditions with the car moving around down the straights. We tried to make a tune forward with the setup for the wet but unfortunately it wasn’t as good, and the best result we could get was P4.
“I had a good little battle with Will Davison when he put new rears on his car, and he was coming at me so I was just pushing as hard as I possibly could for the last ten laps, and just held him off. We managed to claim second for the weekend overall which we’ll take, but we’ll go back to the workshop and learn from the weekend, look through all the data and keep building this new relationship with my engineer Wes.”