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T8 hopeful of #97 balance issue solution

Tom Howard

Friday 7th July, 2017 - 9:57am

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Shane van Gisbergen struggled with the feel of his car at Darwin

Triple Eight is hopeful the balance issue on Shane van Gisbergen’s chassis has been solved after a thorough review of the car’s components prior to this weekend’s Watpac Townsville 400.

The reigning Supercars champion was forced to drive around a mystery handling problem at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Circuit last time out.

While the exact cause of the issue remained a mystery, van Gisbergen was adamant something had broken on his car given the extent of the strange feeling he encountered.

An extensive assessment of the car’s components in the break since Darwin has identified possible causes of the problem.

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton is reasonably confident the #97 Red Bull Commodore will perform better at Townsville.

“We think we have (solved the problem), so we don’t want to say too much until we have (for sure), but we’re pretty confident about that,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ve gone through everything; I think we’ve isolated some things that you look and you think, ‘Is that enough to make the comments he was thinking about?’ We think yes.

“It was very small, minor things but we still think it’s enough to have rectified that issue so we’re really confident to have three consistent cars and not have the issues we had at Darwin; that definitely hindered our program.

“We just really looked at all the braking system because he had issues there so fingers crossed we’ve fixed it but we’re pretty confident.

“We’ve gone through the car with a fine tooth comb, again, even more so than we’re doing on the Darwin weekend.”

Lying fourth in the championship, van Gisbergen showcased the team’s pace on street circuits with a dominant double victory at the season opening Clipsal 500.

History has proved that Townsville’s Reid Park street circuit is a stronghold for the team having recorded nine victories from 17 races at the event.

However, Dutton believes the championship form guide has moved on since the Clipsal 500.

“I think it’s definitely moved on, so it’s hard to say (how this weekend will play out),” he added.

“We’re quite good at street tracks, we’re quite good at Townsville, so there’s no reason to think that we won’t be good, but it’s how good the opposition is.”

The Supercars field will conduct its opening practice session today at 1210 local time.

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