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Van Gisbergen soldiering through eye infection

Tom Howard

Sunday 26th May, 2019 - 6:00am

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Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen is soldiering through the effects of an eye infection but his team has assured he is safe to race at Winton.

The 2016 Supercars champion has been fighting the infection throughout the weekend which saw the Kiwi briefly run sunglasses in Practice 1 to help prevent glare and extra pain.

However, the unusual cockpit attire provided more problems than solutions with the 30-year-old unable to see wet patches on the track.

Despite the issue, van Gisbergen fought from 12th on the grid to fifth, one place ahead team-mate Jamie Whincup in Saturday’s race.

Shane van Gisbergen wearing sunglasses during Practice 1 pic: Fox Sports

“He’s soldiering through. It’s definitely not helping,” Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously, vision for anyone is important, let alone a racing car driver – let alone in these (wet and dry) conditions, especially in qualifying.

“We tried to roll out sunglasses and things like that, but it was dark and he couldn’t see the wet patches – so he quickly took them off and just sort of dealt with the extra glare and pain.

“His eyesight is not impaired as such, there’s just a little bit of pain and annoyance.

“(His) vision is fine. It’s totally safe for him to race, which is paramount.”

Van Gisbergen admitted his lowly qualifying effort was down to a driver error.

He was, however, pleased that changes made to both Red Bull Holden cars were able help him progress through the pack in the race.

“We ended up qualifying in 12th position which wasn’t a very good result and not where we had hoped to start the race,” said van Gisbergen.

“The low grid position was due to driver error.

“The team made some changes for the race which seemed good on both cars but were as a result of split strategies.

“In the end we both finished with the same results so that’s a little confusing.  We will no doubt be looking at that and getting some answers in team debrief.

“Winton isn’t really a passing track normally, so it was good to move up a few positions and pass some of the other drivers in the race.”

The Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint continues with Practice 2 today at 0920 local time/AEST.

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