Van Giz digs up old data to find Winton edge

SP Tools driver Shane van Gisbergen

SP Tools driver Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen and the Stone Brothers Racing team have dug up some of the team’s oldest data collections to find the fast way around Winton Motor Raceway this weekend.

In the past two years, van Gisbergen has struggled at the rural Victorian circuit, finishing with a best result of sixth in the first race at the track last year (which was compromised by the Sprint tyre format employed in 2009).

Other than that result, the fast Kiwi’s form hasn’t been worth writing about.

But according the SP Tools Racing driver, currently third in the V8 Supercars Championship Series, the team has pulled out data dating back to the team’s Marcos Ambrose-era to find the fast way around the 3.0km track.

“I’ve been going over all of the team’s old stuff from previous years – back to when James (Courtney) and Marcos (Ambrose) drove for SBR,” he said.

“I’ve been trying to understand where the time is made around the circuit. The car is definitely a lot better this year, and I’ve been driving a lot better as well, so I think we’ll be better than previous years.”

Even though the cars have evolved, ‘Van Giz’ says the old data can still unlock a few past tricks.

“Obviously things were a little bit different back then, but it’s still helpful – just looking back at a few things, seeing what I can pick up,” he said.

“There’s a couple of things that I can learn. I’ll try them when I get out on the track and we’ll see if they are handy.

“I guess all of the drivers go through all of the old data to see what they can pick up, but I’ve paid more attention to it for Winton because I’ve never really gone any good there. Hopefully it makes a difference.”

While his results haven’t been great in the past, he says that he enjoys the tight track.

“Winton isn’t the flashest race track, but the circuit itself is pretty cool,” he said.

“There’s a bit to it and it’s not the easiest place. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully keep our momentum going. I want to leave this weekend still third in the championship – maybe even higher. We’re all pretty confident from the results we had last week at Queensland Raceway.”

V8 Supercars action kicks off on Friday with four practice session. Saturday and Sunday both have a qualifying and race each. The Seven Network will broadcast the race from 2.30pm EST (Saturday) and 12.00pm EST (Sunday) – Check your local guides.

In other Ford V8 news, you have the chance to meet your favourite Ford drivers at Ford Performance Racing’s headquarters at Campbellfield tonight (from 5.30pm-8pm).

Come down and meet Mark Winterbottom, Shane van Gisbergen, Steve Richards, Alex Davison, Paul Dumbrell, Tim Slade and James Moffat, as well as go for a tour of FPR’s workshop, a free barbeque, merchandise discounts and giveaways.

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