SVG on Feeney: You don’t come to T8 to be mentored
Wednesday 15th September, 2021 - 6:00am
Shane van Gisbergen won’t be playing mentor to Broc Feeney when ‘The Kid’ goes full-time with Red Bull Ampol Racing in 2022.
For the first time since his 2007 debut in the Supercars Championship, van Gisbergen next year will have a team-mate younger than him.
Once Jamie Whincup vacates the #88, van Gisbergen will be the elder statesman at Triple Eight Race Engineering, though the Kiwi isn’t expecting to be showing Feeney the ropes.
“You don’t come to this team to be mentored,” van Gisbergen told Speedcafe.com.
“You’re here to be up the front. I’ll obviously help him and we’ll share stuff, but I’m not here to coach him. He’s good enough.
“For how young he is and how experienced he is for how little racing he does, it’s very impressive. I think he’ll be quite good straight away.”
Feeney will join the Repco Supercars Championship with little more than three years of second- and third-tier feeder series competition, some of which has been heavily affected by COVID-19.
His rookie Super3 Series campaign under the guidance of Paul Morris saw Feeney win the title in 2019.
He then graduated to the Super2 Series with Tickford Racing in 2020, finishing just shy of the podium on two occasions on his way to seventh in a COVID-shortened three-round season.
This year, Feeney has been dominant in the Super2 Series with Triple Eight Race Engineering, winning four of the six races to date.
Initially, van Gisbergen was apprehensive when Feeney was tipped to be signed up, but those fears have since been quelled.
“It was initially a surprise to me, I guess,” said van Gisbergen.
“But when you look at all of his Super2 data – I was looking at all of that in Townsville before I drove out – he’s done everything possible to show that he’s good enough this year; and he is.
“The Super2 performances have been stellar really for the first go. There’s no one else really that jumped off the page like he did. For sure, he’s the best choice.
“He’s doing all the right things. The technique is really good. Watching the video before I go out to learn the lines and the braking points. He’s straight on it. It’s good.
“There was obviously the shortlist, but when you see how he goes at Townsville, as I said, he’s shown everything he can possibly to show he’s the best guy for the drive and you can’t ignore those performances. He’s the best guy for it.”
For van Gisbergen, he sees no reason why Feeney can’t be competitive immediately. Although, consistency will be the key for the teenager.
“I don’t know what the team thinks or what he thinks he’ll do, but for me, you’re in the best cars, and you’ve got the talent, you might be up the front straight away, but it’ll probably take time to be there consistently,” van Gisbergen explained.
“He’s got the people around him and he’s got a great family as well, it’ll make a difference for him. He’ll be there, just how long it takes is the unknown. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”