Manukau City 18-year-old sets third-fastest time behind V8 Supercar aces Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander in timed practice for the Hamilton 400.
Shane Van Gisbergen continued his rapid rise in Australian V8 Supercar racing this afternoon by posting the third-fastest practice time for this weekend’s Hamilton 400.
Van Gisbergen, driving a Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon, was in sensational form and clocked 1m 24.8292s, just 0.27s off the sessions’ fastest time, set by Jamie Whincup in the Team Vodafone Falcon.
In between the Ford drivers was current champion Garth Tander in the HRT Holden Commodore.
Then came Russell Ingall (Falcon), Michael Caruso (Commodore) and NZ-born Steven Richards in the Castrol Falcon.
Greg Murphy put his new VE Commodore into seventh place, with fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard 20th in the Glenfords Falcon.
Murphy’s teammate Jason Richards was 18th, and Kayne Scott was 28th, only running four laps in an off-song Team Kiwi Racing Falcon.
At the top-three press conference – his first – a delighted Van Gisbergen said he “couldn’t stop smiling being up there with those guys (Tander and Whincup on the press conference stage).”
“It’s early days yet,” he said of his third-fastest time. Qualifying (which sets the starting order) is tomorrow. That’s another day. We’ll see how we go.”
But being in the top three in a practice session so early in his career was “awesome. I didn’t think I would be here so quickly.
“The car was pretty good out of the traps. We had a good base set-up, and were making minor adjustments and got there at the end.
“For sure it’s only practice and we’ve got a long weekend ahead of us.
“Now we’ll go away and analyse everything.”