Manukau City teenager, Shane van Gisbergen, had a weekend of highs and lows in the Tasmanian round of the 2008 Australian V8 Supercar Championship
In Saturday’s race he was an inspired fifth in the Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools Ford Falcon but a mechanical failure and a drive-through penalty cost him dearly in Sunday’s two heats.
In Saturday’s wet race, van Gisbergen scythed through the pack from 16th on the grid to be third after four laps. He stayed out as the weather worsened before pitting on lap 23.
But he made a slight mistake on cold tyres as he went into turn one after his pitstop and dropped back to 11th before charging to a fifth place finish, challenging Will Davison for fourth.
“We made up quite a few spots at the start and got into third pretty quick when (reigning champion Garth) Tander went off. The car seems to suit those conditions and I seem to be able to go alright in them,” van Gisbergen said.
“The wet is good fun as well. You can throw the car around and get into it, so I was enjoying myself out there. There’s a lot more variables in it and I was able to try a few things.
“We were seeing it getting wetter and wetter and the guys with wets started to put times into us. Unfortunately I went off leaving the pits so that cost us a bit of time. I just understeered there on cold tyres.
“When it was at its wettest we were holding position and when it started to dry I was able to make some gains.”
In Sunday’s first race van Gisbergen was running fourth when the fuel pump malfunctioned, ending his race and forcing him to start the final from the back of the grid.
He was working his way forward in race three when he was slapped with a drive-through penalty. “We had good speed and good tyres for race three and we knew we could come through.
“I went to pass Marcus Marshall but he moved across on me. I couldn’t stop and turned him around, and then was given a drive through penalty. We know we have the speed but we had some bad luck.
“I’m looking forward to (the series’ final round at) Oran Park. It’s my favourite circuit and where I made my debut last year. I’m pretty confident there. We’ve just got to put a full weekend together.”