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Focus now on Perth for Van Gisbergen


With his first V8 Supercar win in the bag, Shane van Gisbergen's focus is now on maintaining the momentum in Western Australia this weekend

With no round at the state's Barbagallo Raceway last year and the 2009 round held in sweltering temperatures in November, this weekend's return meeting - for the fourth points round of the 2011 season - is very much a new beginning for all the teams and drivers competing in this year's V8 Supercar championship.

There's a change in race format too, with three 50-lap races round the 2.4 km circuit northeast of Perth, rather than the now more usual two.

Grid positions for the first two races will be decided the usual way - each race has a dedicated qualifying session with the top ten positions for Saturday's race further filtered by the Top 10 Shootout - but the grid for the third race will be decided by the driver's second-best lap time in the Sunday qualifying session.

A further twist is in the tyre allocation.

Drivers will use the series' hard compound Dunlop slick on Saturday (for qualifying, the Top 10 Shootout and 50-lap race) and the stickier but less durable soft compound one on Sunday.

Having won his first series race on the soft compound tyre at Hamilton a fortnight ago, van Gisbergen believes it makes for better racing, telling Australian motorsport magazine Motorsport E-news this week: 'Personally, I think we should use the soft tyre at every race - with a few mixed events where the hard tyre comes into it. With more grip available you can do a lot more passing under braking - and that's what we saw in Hamilton. In general, with more grip, you have more confidence."

With his win at Hamilton van Gisbergen is now back up to sixth place in the series points standings, behind Jamie Whincup, Rick Kelly, Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom and Garth Tander.

The latter pair are tied on 543 points, however, and with van Gisbergen just nine points back another good result could see him back up to third.

The V8 Supercars will be on track at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway this weekend from Friday with practice before qualifying, the Top 10 Shootout and first race on Saturday, then the second qualifying session and further two 50 lap races on Sunday.


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