Van Gisbergen ‘doing a f**ken good job’, says Reynolds
Thursday 25th March, 2021 - 2:00pm
Shane van Gisbergen is “doing a f**ken good job” having won the first five races of this year’s Repco Supercars Championship, according to David Reynolds.
Van Gisbergen is in fact unbeaten in the last six races once the 2020 Bathurst 1000 is accounted for, and his sweep of the recently completed Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint came just a fortnight after breaking his left collarbone.
Already, the 2016 champion’s margin at the head of the standings is 150 points, the equivalent of half an event (save for fastest lap bonus points, where applicable), while his off-season included wins in a host of other disciplines/categories.
Reynolds finished third in the Sandown finale, more than 20 seconds behind the victorious Red Bull Ampol Racing entry after 36 laps of wet weather racing, and had high praise for van Gisbergen afterwards.
“He’s in pretty good form,” said the Kelly Grove Racing driver.
“He’s pretty much untouchable at the minute, so whatever they’re doing and he’s doing, he’s in the right frame of mind, and he’s doing a f**ken good job.
“He’s doing really well; he’s won every race by miles.”
Van Gisbergen’s three-from-three performance last time out was not quite as straightforward as that statistic might suggest, even aside from the collarbone injury and the broken ribs which only came to light after the event.
He made life difficult for himself in qualifying 17th for Race 3 of the season, the Saturday affair, but made good progress in his opening stint and then profited from a thrilling battle in the latter stages.
When invited at the end of the weekend to talk on the wave of confidence he should be riding, the New Zealander spoke largely on the good times at Triple Eight more broadly, including his recently-signed contract extension.
“We’re just all in a good place in our team at the moment, right from the news at the start of the year with TQ [Tony Quinn investment] and J-Dub [Jamie Whincup’s impending transition from driver to team principal] and then myself extending,” said van Gisbergen.
“The atmosphere in the team, and how Cauchi and Wes [engineers David Cauchi and Wes McDougall] are working together, and Dutto [team manager Mark Dutton] and JJ [technical director Jeromy Moore], it’s just an awesome place at the moment and I’m pretty lucky to be there.
“All the other cars and teams that I drive in are all quality equipment and it makes a huge difference and your confidence just keep snowballing, so we’ve just got to keep the momentum going.”
Reynolds’ podium in a rainy Race 5 was his first for KGR, having recorded a best finish of fourth during his 2011 season at what was then known as Kelly Racing.
The 35-year-old had put the #26 Mustang fourth on the grid for his 350th Supercars Championship race and ran as high as second after a good start and an early pass on Jamie Whincup.
Having finished ninth, 11th, and 11th in the first three races of the campaign, before incurring damage in a run-in with Tim Slade in Race 4, Reynolds makes the third placing to be a sign of KGR’s progress.
“It was awesome today to get a podium in my 350th race at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint and do everyone at Penrite proud this weekend and bring home a trophy,” he said.
“It was shocking conditions, especially at the start, but I got a good start, moved up to P3 and then just kept my head down from there.
”It’s a really solid improvement from where we were last round, we were competitive all weekend and the car was pretty good to drive, particularly [on Sunday].
“[Race 4] was pretty disappointing because we got turned around and the car was damaged, which is a little annoying because the car would have been just as quick in that race.
”We’re heading in the right direction as a team and I’m really proud of all the guys, it’s been an intense few weeks with a lot of changes to the cars but it’s started to pay off.”
Reynolds slumped five spots to 12th in the championship after salvaging a finish of 22nd position in Race 4, but is now back up to ninth after the first two events of 2021.