SVG focussed amid Supercars title hype
Shane van Gisbergen is refusing to be distracted by the prospect of claiming a maiden Supercars title at the penultimate round on home soil at Pukekohe.
The Red Bull Racing Australia driver holds a 148 point lead over team-mate and title rival Jamie Whincup heading into the ITM Auckland Super Sprint with just six races remaining in the season.
Van Gisbergen’s strong performances in the Pirtek Enduro Cup has seen the 27-year-old emerge as the favourite to claim the title, which would see him become the first Kiwi to win the championship since Jim Richards in 1991.
The Auckland driver however is keeping his focus away from championship glory with eyes firmly fixed on achieving solid results from this weekend’s four sprint races to boost his title bid.
“It is easy stay focussed,” Van Gisbergen told Speedcafe.com ahead of the four races, which are worth just 75 points each.
“The gap is not big at all so we have just keep doing what we have been all year.
“There are four short, sharp races this weekend so we will push as hard as we can.
“I’m not even thinking about wrapping up the title on home soil.
“I will treat it like every other round and do what I can in the four races, score as many points as possible and keep it clean.
“If it happens (win the title) it happens and if it doesn’t we will keep trucking.
“It would be cool to win (a race) on home soil but as long as I have four good races I will go away stoked.”
Despite being locked in a championship fight with Whincup, the pair have worked closely together to ensure the Red Bull Commodores continue to be the pace setters in the 26 car field.
As the title battle intensifies, van Gisbergen expects the situation to continue for the final two rounds of the campaign.
“We have a clear goal of what we want to do and we have got to work together first and foremost and make sure our cars are still the strongest,” he added.
“We have been really enjoying working together and there is no point in that stopping.
“We have got to make sure our cars are good and we keep developing.”
The ITM Auckland Super Sprint begins today with three 30 minute practice sessions.