Triple Eight cars ‘battling a bit’ at The Mountain

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Shane van Gisbergen says his team needs to “have a think” after just one Triple Eight Race Engineering-built car made it into the Top 10 Shootout at Mount Panorama.

The Supercars champion-elect was the best of those in Triple Eight-built machinery, qualifying the #888 seventh provisionally for the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The next best was Jamie Whincup in the #88 who narrowly missed one last Top 10 Shootout berth as a full-timer, qualifying 11th.

Triple Eight customer squad Team 18 qualified its cars 13th and 14th with Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom respectively, just ahead of the Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight wildcard steered by Broc Feeney (15th).

Meanwhile, Fabian Coulthard was the leading Team Sydney entry in 20th while Jake Kostecki was Matt Stone Racing’s best qualifier in 21st.

Kostecki’s team-mate Zane Goddard was 23rd and Coulthard’s counterpart Garry Jacobson in 25th.

“It was a tough one,” said van Gisbergen.

“There’s not many Triple Eight cars in the top 10. We’re all battling a bit. We need to have a think and get a bit quicker.

“The race car felt pretty good but qualifying we’re just lacking a little bit. You watch Will Brown’s lap, and he’s obviously driving well, but his car looks really good.

“We need to get a bit better, but we’re in the 10, it’s alright.”

Van Gisbergen wound up 0.3289s adrift of provisional pole-sitter Will Brown, admitting that he fired his shot too early.

“We were looking pretty good in the qualifying session, but then we got a bit out of sync,” said van Gisbergen.

“We timed our run too early, and unfortunately, we had a bad run. The last run I did wasn’t too much of an improvement as well, which is a shame.

“We’ll need to look at why that was the case, because I really think we can do better, but as you can see all of the Triple Eight-spec cars are nowhere.

“We need to have a think about our results and see what we can do tomorrow to be faster.”

The Repco Supercars Championship will have three sessions on Saturday with Practice 5 at 10:15 local time/AEDT followed by Practice 6 at 12:15 local time/AEDT.

The Top 10 Shootout gets underway at 17:05 local time/AEDT.

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