Van Gisbergen didn’t expect Barbagallo podium

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen admitted he didn’t expect a podium finish after ending up in 12th place after Armor All Qualifying in Barbagallo.

Having made a spot on the opening lap, van Gisbergen hovered on the fringes of the top 10 before the bulk of the field began to stop on lap 20.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team opted to leave van Gisbergen on track until lap 30, plummeting him down to 19th when he rejoined.

However, strong pace and fresher tyres than those around him allowed the Kiwi to make swift progress, demoting Tim Slade from the final podium place on the final lap.

An intermittent radio problem also plagued his race, which saw the team resort to an old-fashioned pit board to call him in for his stop.

“We just didn’t know what was going to happen,” van Gisbergen explained.

“It’s not many events these days where you’re tyre rich, so to say, so you could do a two-stop.

“I was unsure how many people were going to do it and I didn’t have radio communications – well I did, but very intermittent – and I didn’t really know what happened that whole race.

“When everybody started pitting on lap 18 to 20 I thought they were two-stopping. So it was very surprising those guys went to the end.

“When I came out (of my pit stop) I didn’t know whether to push or conserve. I was racing the people in front.

“We obviously made the car a lot better in race trim and good tyre life, we had really good tyre life.”

The result vaulted van Gisbergen to second in the championship standings, 119 points in arrears of race winner Scott McLaughlin.

Race 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which is worth 150 points for the winner, begins at 1415 local time, after Armor All Qualifying at 1120 (1320 AEST).

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