SVG went from ‘hero to zero’ after pitlane crash

Shane van Gisbergen

A pit lane incident with Tim Slade capped off a tough day for Shane van Gisbergen which saw him go from ‘hero to zero’ at the ITM Auckland Super Sprint.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver ended the day as the last classified finisher after producing a faultless drive to win Saturday’s race.

“Hero to zero,” he admitted after the race.

“I’d rather it was the other way around but that was our position in the championship, our position in the race.”

Having dropped two places in the Turn 8 melee on the opening lap, van Gisbergen ran into the rear of Slade’s car as the pair pitted at the end of lap 16.

The reigning champion misjudged his entry speed when filing into pitlane.

“I was just doing everything I could to make up time and pushing the limits and unfortunately I would have been marginal to stop but obviously Tim was there and it wasn’t his fault but sad it wrecked his day and sad it hurts our teams’ championship as well.”

The damage saw the New Zealander drop 14 laps as the team repaired the damaged Commodore before he rejoined the race in an attempt to gain points in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships.

“I’ve got the best team in pit lane and the way they turned it around… the car was safe, went back out there, and in the amount of time to get some points.

“I am gutted for us to lose so many points for our Teams Championship which is so important to us.

“Pit lane priority is what we’re aiming for and to not score as many points as I could for the team, which was my job for the weekend, is pretty disappointing.

“The team were awesome though, to fix the car like that in the amount of time we needed to be classified, the car was pretty mangled so the amount of work they did in the short time they had was pretty great.”

Van Gisbergen remains mathematically in the championship hunt, having fallen 276 points adrift of championship leader Jamie Whincup with just 300 left on the table at the Newcastle 500 season finale.

The final round of the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship moves to Newcastle on November 24-26.

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