Tekno Autosports out to maintain strong form at Albert Park
Gold Coast outfit Tekno Autosports is keen to validate its blistering Clipsal 500 form at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne this weekend.
The team’s star signing Shane van Gisbergen made all the right moves after claiming two pole positions, transforming one into a win the second 250km leg in Adelaide.
It could have proved even better had the Kiwi driver’s gearbox not failed in the opening race which forced his retirement.
Team leader Jonathon Webb admits to being taken by surprise by the fact that Tekno leapt to a victory at the first meeting of the year.
“To come out swinging with two poles and a win isn’t something we expected,” Webb told Speedcafe.com
“It was something we knew weren’t too far off.
“From my point of view I had a plan going for the weekend and I just wanted to have a couple of top 10 results and stay out of trouble.”
Webb said that the gearbox issue had potentially cost van Gisbergen a more prominent spot on the points table with the Stone Brothers Racing refugee ninth, two spots behind his team-mate.
“Without throwing anyone under the bus there was a little bit of frustration for us to find out we had a similar issue to what a few of the teams had already,” Webb explained.
“It was disappointing that an issue with the gearbox was known about but none of the teams were given a heads up.
“(and) it was very disappointing that it was something very simple. It was a matter of filling it with oil and putting a plug back in it and it was good to go.
“It probably would have put Shane potentially second or third in the Championship with the Triple Eight boys.”
Webb says that the reason van Gisbergen was hired by his squad was to enable his team, formed in 2011 a year after Webb’s rookie V8 season, to become a front-runner and for Webb to develop further as a driver.
“From where I sit I’m still very much a beginner,” Webb says.
“It’s only my fourth year in the category. I’ve had a couple of years being on my own or effectively being the lead driver.
“I needed someone else to push me along and drag me up. I’ve struggled to grow and learn as much as I can over the last couple of years.”
van Gisbergen won the third race at the corresponding AGP meeting last year and Webb is buoyed by the feedback filtering through that has welcomed a new winning team in the Championship.
“The amount of people who have said it’s great to see someone different on the podium is great. Hopefully we can continued that form on a regular basis this year.”