Van Gisbergen pessimistic about Townsville shootout

Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen is pessimistic leading into this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout ahead of Race 19 at the NTI Townsville 500.

The championship leader has been struggling with tyre warm-up on the hard compound, most evidently in qualifying.

Van Gisbergen only ran once in the 15-minute hit-out, but performed more preparation laps than usual, owing to a mistake on his first push-lap.

When he did get a lap in, it was good enough for second position, though the New Zealander admitted it would not be a simple Top 10 Shootout.

“I can’t switch my tyres on, so it’s going to be pretty tough,” van Gisbergen said.

“Whether we re-use the fronts so they come up easier or run four new ones, I don’t know.

“Hopefully we can just switch the right-front on in particular because I get to Turn 5 and it’s just stone cold. See how we go.”

Van Gisbergen added that getting the shootout right is the main focus before he can think about this afternoon’s 250km race.

There is much interest over the super soft tyre compound and at what point teams make the switch in rubber.

“I don’t think about the race, I just drive. I have to focus on shootout and start up the front, then I will think about the race,” he commented.

“I’ll just pit when they tell me to.”

The Top 10 Shootout gets underway at 12:00 local time/AEST, with Race 19 scheduled for 14:45.

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