Shane van Gisbergen’s Red Bull Holden has escaped major damage in its crash at the Dipper during Practice 3 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
A trying day for the Kiwi and co-driver Matt Campbell ended in dramatic fashion when van Gisbergen made heavy side-on contact with the concrete on the entry to the Dipper.
While a crash for Tim Slade at the same part of the circuit this morning has resulted in a rebuild that is expected to take at least 24 hours, the Red Bull car has relatively minor damage.
“It’s mostly bolt-on parts. There’s a little bit of fab work, but it’s much better than it could have been,” engineer Grant McPherson
“He was down to about 80km/h by the time he hit, so he’d wiped off heaps of speed which was good. As you saw, the thing still launched pretty high in the air, so it was still a big hit.
“You never know what’s going to happen [in terms of damage], the angles make a big difference.”
Van Gisbergen and Campbell had been just 23rd in the opening two practice sessions.
The reigning champion had three minor offs in the early stages of the final hit-out before his crash, but reported being happier with the car.
“The first session was a bit average but we definitely did some good work,” reflected van Gisbergen.
“In the second one, Matty was able to get comfortable and get better and better and the car was much improved when I got in there.
“We set some reasonable times and I felt like we were making some good headway and then unfortunately I made a mistake which has made the guys do some unnecessary work to get it going tomorrow but at least now, our car is better.”
McPherson says it was a shame to lose the final half hour of running, but doesn’t expect it to impact their race on Sunday.
“We’d had a pretty ordinary first two practice sessions, so we’ve done about three good laps today,” he said.
“We were probably a session or two behind other people, so I don’t think we were going to go and do a 5.1s today. But you don’t need to do 5.1s on a Thursday to win this race.
“We’ll take the set-back, keep working, and we’ll be alright.”