Giz ‘ gut­ted and peed off’ but not ashamed by Bathurst ef­fort

Weekend Herald - - MOTORSPORT - Dale Budge

Reign­ing Su­per­cars cham­pion Shane van Gis­ber­gen is feel­ing more cir­cum­spect af­ter last Sun­day’s chaotic Bathurst 1000 seemed to slip through his fin­gers.

The 28- year- old Kiwi has en­dured some heart­break in the iconic race in the past few years. A stalled en­gine in his fi­nal pit stop while lead­ing a cou­ple of years ago was a bit­ter pill to swal­low while last year he missed win­ning the race by the clos­est com­pet­i­tive mar­gin in the his­tory of the race, set­tling for sec­ond be­hind Will Dav­i­son.

He added to that list in treach­er­ous con­di­tions last Sun­day by spin­ning while lead­ing at the penul­ti­mate safety car in­ter­ven­tion and then throw­ing the car off at high speed and rip­ping a tyre from the rim as he got him­self back into con­tention to win in the dy­ing stages.

“It is just a crazy day — it is what that place is,” van Gis­ber­gen said. “It throws every­thing at you and we tried to throw every­thing back but it didn’t come off in the end.

“Our car was not that good even as early as Thurs­day or Fri­day, I think not hav­ing the best car we were driv­ing over the limit to try and be com­pet­i­tive and I think that is what made for the mis­takes.

“If we had a bit more speed we prob­a­bly wouldn’t had to have driven over the limit like that and done all that crazy stuff.

“Un­for­tu­nately the re­sult wasn’t what we wanted.”

The Red Bull Holden driver’s ag­gres­sion and pass­ing moves late in the race were some­thing to be­hold, mak­ing a case to say it was a blown op- por­tu­nity given the er­rors that fol­lowed.

Van Gis­ber­gen ad­mit­ted he was down af­ter even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing fifth but he is start­ing to see it dif­fer­ently.

“After­wards I was pretty gut­ted and re­ally pissed with my­self but now, af­ter a day or two to think about it, I gave it every­thing and we did make some mis­takes but I am not ashamed of it at all,” he said.

“We tried our best and put on a good show. It was a pretty de­cent day and we gave it the best crack we could.”

His er­ror while lead­ing the race was avoid­able but it wasn’t sim­ply a case of an over- zeal­ous driver.

“We were sav­ing a lot of fuel, es­pe­cially un­der safety car, and you don’t warm the tyres up be­cause you are try­ing to roll and save all the fuel you can,” van Gis­ber­gen ex­plained. “It started rain­ing on the run down Con­rod — cold slicks on a wet track — I braked su­per early but I slid off and couldn’t stop.

“We man­aged to get back from that but went off at The Chase a few laps later.”

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ing re­sult, van Gis­ber­gen has ac­tu­ally got him­self back in the cham­pi­onship fight thanks to the dra­mas lead­ing pair Scott McLaugh­lin and Jamie Whin­cup suf­fered.

He is fifth in the stand­ings but only 289 points be­hind new leader Fabian Coulthard. He had been the best part of 400 points adrift be­fore Bathurst.

Shane van Gis­ber­gen

Win­ton JC J6

Pic­ture / AAP

Shane van Gis­ber­gen has had time to for­give him­self af­ter fail­ing to make the podium at Bathurst last week­end.

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