Tekno Autosports’ VIP Petfoods driver Shane van Gisbergen can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of his V8 Supercar.
“Normally I’m over racing or drifting in New Zealand in the break, so (with) three weeks off it’s been good to have a little holiday – but just raring to go racing,” he said.
“I like racing here and I think our car will suit (the circuit).”
The kiwi driver came home third in the final race at the Sucrogen Townsville 400, again showing why he has been considered the dark horse in the Championship after an early win at the Clipsal 500. But his last run at Queensland Raceway didn’t garner the results he had hoped.
After Sunday’s race, he said they had just been slow – he felt as if he had just been waving competitors past.
But van Gisbergen was hopeful the VIP Petfoods team had uncovered the issues over the break and would perform well at the rural Victorian three-kilometre circuit this weekend.
“I think we may have figured out some things – we just have to apply it all now and hope it makes a difference.
“There were a few little things that added up and we had a shocker of a weekend – but we still got reasonable points for how badly we went.
“Hopefully we can get back on the pace this weekend.”
Sitting seventh in the Championship, three positions ahead of teammate Jonathon Webb and 363 points shy of leader Jamie Whincup, van Gisbergen came out of the last weekend with 130 points after finishing 12th, 17th and 11th.
And while Winton is test track to the Melbourne-based teams, it is one van Gisbergen enjoys – not just because of the circuit’s intricacies, but the support and enthusiasm from fans who camp out and arrive mid-week for the V8 Supercars circus.
“I actually like the track, there’s a lot to it. It’s really technical and tight.
“You’ve got to have a car that handles well and power is not such a big thing. It’s a pretty enjoyable track, especially when the car is good.
“There’s not much out here but it’s usually a pretty good turnout. People were here yesterday and it’s pretty cool to see … You can see them all over there (across from pit lane). At night when we’re packing up and debriefing you can see the campfires.
“I’m happy to be here.”
While he expressed a preference for other formats, van Gisbergen expects the 60/60 Super Sprint race will spice up the racing on Saturday.
“I think you’ll see some aggressive racing, the double file restart will be pretty cool here.
“I’m not really in favour of the format but it’s worked out alright, the racing’s been pretty exciting.”
The Winton 360 runs until Sunday with Friday practice; Practice Three, Qualifying and a 60/60 Super Sprint race on Saturday; and two qualifying sessions and races on Sunday.