Weekend Herald

Van Gis: It’s too early to talk titles

- Eric Thompson

He may have won 10 of this season’s 16 races but Shane van Gisbergen insists it’s too early to be talking about titles.

With the Supercars season just past the halfway mark, the Kiwi driver has 1661 points, leading Red Bull Ampol Racing teammate Jamie Whincup by 245, with Will Davison and Chaz Mostert almost 400 points off the pace in third and fourth. The only other driver to have won more than one race this season is Mostert — with two.

Van Gisbergen said his focus is race to race, especially given the uncertaint­y created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s a bit crazy with all the Covid stuff, so it’s a good idea to get a few more races in while we can,” van Gisbergen told the Weekend Herald. “It’s too early to be thinking about the championsh­ip, I just want to be out in front race by race.”

The bad news for the Supercars field is that racing resumes today in Townsville, where van Gisbergen and Whincup totally dominated last weekend.

Van Gisbergen chased down Whincup to win both 88-lap races over 250km last weekend and said his team could improve further for this weekend’s three SuperSprin­t events over 33 laps.

“Our cars were really good last weekend but they can always be better. There’s always something to learn. We still had over and understeer and other things, and want to make the car better. There will be a few things we’ll try this weekend to improve it.

“We’ve had a good set-up for both qualifying and the race, which helps a lot. We didn’t need to tweak much between the race and qualifying, which is cool, and our tyre life was good and that really helps in longer races.

“Our cars have been good here for a couple of years now, and I think it’s because of how well they ride the bumps and look after the tyres.”

Van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Ampol Racing are the team to beat with the likes of DJR’s Shell V-Power Racing pairing of Anton de Pasquale and Davison, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Mostert and Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters struggling to keep up.

It doesn’t look good for the rest of the field with everyone back on the same circuit and using the same tyres. Van Gisbergen and Whincup combined to win four of the six races across last year’s Townsville double header and look on track to finish with an even better record in 2021.

“On this type of track, we always seem to go all right. Last weekend, it was a little bit surprising how fast we were, but I’m sure this weekend, it’ll be closer. We just really nailed it last weekend,” said van Gisbergen.

There is one race today and two tomorrow.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand