Triple Eight still searching for ZB Commodore perfection 

Tom Howard

Thursday 9th August, 2018 - 2:24pm

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Shane van Gisbergen has won three of the last four races

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton says his squad is still not 100 percent happy with its ZB Commodore package despite winning four of the last five races.

The factory Holden team has made significant strides in extracting more pace from its Commodores, particularly in qualifying trim.

While expected to shine in Townsville, the squad has built on wins for Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup there, with the former taking out the last two races, including the Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300.

Dutton admits that momentum has shifted towards his team but is refusing to allow complacency to creep in.

In fact, the team remains focussed on squeezing more performance from its Holdens.

“Definitely I feel we’ve gained some momentum, I mean in our last five races we’ve won four,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

“We’re definitely not going to rest on laurels and think we’re there at all.

“We still have a lot of work to do, making sure we’re happy with the car.

“The really promising thing is, and as silly as it sounds, we’re still not 100 percent happy with the car.

“We’ve got excellent race cars and with the qualifying cars, we know there’s still a little bit more to come there.

“To feel we’ve got more potential, that’s promising.

“When you’re tapped out that’s when you’re worried.

“We’ve got lots of things in the pipeline we’re trying to work towards so it’s really exciting.”

Van Gisbergen’s triumph under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park saw the Kiwi close to within 89 points of championship leader Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power Racing).

Meanwhile, Jamie Whincup in the sister Red Bull Holden is third, 433 points back ahead of team-mate Craig Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes Racing) in fourth, who is a further 85 points back.

While McLaughlin and van Gisbergen have pulled away in the title hunt, Dutton believes Whincup and Lowndes are still in the mix.

“They’re definitely still in it. I mean there wasn’t any big point drops in the 300 pointer, but there could have been,” Dutton added.

“And obviously rolling into Sandown after Tailem Bend and Bathurst, they’re the ones that so easily change seasons.

“It’s still wide open. You know, we need to get through the enduros before we know where with stand.”

The championship continues with a trip to South Australia for the inaugural OTR SuperSprint at The Bend from August 24-26.

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