Van Gisbergen: Bright deserves to keep podium
Shane van Gisbergen hopes that Jason Bright will not be stripped of his podium finish for short-cutting the circuit after contact between the pair in the closing stages of Race 23.
Bright was spun by van Gisbergen at Turn 4 while the pair battled for third just minutes before the time certain finish.
The BOC Holden subsequently rejoined at Turn 8, cutting over a kilometre out of the circuit to retain a third place that he then held until the chequered flag.
V8 Supercars Driving Standards Observer Jason Bargwanna confirmed to Speedcafe.com post-race that an investigation into the incident is taking place.
Speaking to Speedcafe.com, van Gisbergen took full responsibility for the contact and says his rival deserves to keep the trophy.
“It was my fault, I was far enough up, right in there, but I pinched a brake,” van Gisbergen recounted of the incident
“The track was still a bit wet on the inside and just understeered out into him.
“It’s up to the stewards now but I hope they let him keep it. He deserves to be third.
“He did short cut half the track but (David) Reynolds did it at Darwin and got away with it, so hopefully they keep it consistent.”
The Reynolds precedent at Hidden Valley saw the Ford driver spear off while trying to avoid running into the back of another car, subsequently cutting the circuit’s Turn 5 hairpin before rejoining and winning the race.
Bright also noted the Reynolds scenario as evidence that he should not be penalised.
“I figure if Reynolds can make a mistake and drive like a shortcut at Darwin then what I did is no worse than that,” said Bright in the post-race press conference.
“I was actually pushed off and didn’t gain any ground. I’ve seen plenty of other guys do it over the years and not get a penalty so I don’t see why it’d be any different.
“I’d be very surprised if I got called out and pretty disappointed.”
Relieved to be able to extract himself from the wet grass, Bright insisted the shortcut was his logical option to rejoin.
“I didn’t think I was actually going to be able to get off the grass because I was just sort of there spinning for a while,” he said.
“I grabbed the pitlane limiter and putted out of there and sort of had the option of left or right at the intersection. I could see the track left and couldn’t see the track right so I went left.”
Both drivers had carved through the field during the wet weather stint, climbing a combined 15 places following the mid-race restart.
The typically flamboyant van Gisbergen’s efforts to cool his wet tyres on the drying track in the closing stages had seen him running his outside wheels down the grass on the front straight on multiple occasions.
Although admitting that the car had been ‘out of control’ while on the grass, the noted wet weather master shrugged off the bizarre moves. “It’s just driving in the wet,” he said.