SVG focused on passing in hunt for Pukekohe gains
Sunday 11th September, 2022 - 6:00am
Shane van Gisbergen is determined to find the overnight car speed he needs to make on-track passes at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver only managed seventh in qualifying before crossing the line fifth in Race 27 on Saturday at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
Van Gisbergen didn’t have the pace of the front runners and fell short of a podium in front of his home crowd.
Another two races are left to run today to conclude Supercars’ New Zealand round, with the Kiwi centring his attention around high-speed corners.
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“We had a crack at the fastest lap because we really struggled to pass,” van Gisbergen said of Saturday’s events.
“My car was struggling with the high-speed areas of the track, and that’s what we’ll be focussing on [overnight] because we need to be better in those areas.
“Even though the safety car came out towards the end of the race, it was hard to follow in the high-speed areas and I only managed to pass Anton (De Pasquale) late in the race.”
Team-mate Broc Feeney was seventh in yesterday’s 41-lap encounter, and is targeting improved qualifying form ahead of Races 28 and 29 today.
This weekend marks the return of the championship Pukekohe for the first time since 2019, in which time control dampers have been introduced.
However, team boss Jamie Whincup believes that is not a factor in the lack of car speed.
“Yes, for sure,” he told Speedcafe.com, acknowledging the technical changes.
“But it’s not really… that’s not why we weren’t quick enough.
“The car is good, just there are four cars that are faster; that’s the game we play, that’s motorsport.
“Generally we do that better than anybody else, but, sometimes you don’t.
“And today was the day we did it well, but not as well as some others.
“We’ll do what the rest of the field is going to do and try to make a gain.
“The good news is because our cars are not perfect we’ve got some room to move.”
Qualifying for Race 28 and Qualifying for Race 29 take place today from 10:45 local time/08:45 AEST.