While Shane van Gisbergen continues to lead the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, the latest round in Darwin, the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, proved frustrating for the Kiwi. Having qualified in fourth for Race 16 (of the season), van Gisbergen managed to finish on the podium in third.
“Our race was good and bad,” commented van Gisbergen. “We were just following the leading cars for most of the race, so we tried a different strategy in our pit stop by changing three tyres, mainly to get the fastest lap but also to have a shot at the Shell cars in front.
“Unfortunately, our pit stop didn’t go too well today which meant we ran out of laps at the end of the race to gain any more positions, but it was good to get a podium in the end. The two-tyre pit stops are definitely the way to win the race because you can’t pass, but we really wanted those extra points from the fastest lap.
“We were never going to pass the Shell cars, they’re too good, so we thought we’d try the three-tyre strategy. We knew we’d give up some spots in the race, but we were able to reduce the deficit by getting those extra points.”
Another podium in Race 17, having qualified fourth fastest, for the Supercars champion then a disappointing 21st in Race 18.
“Qualifying was average for us today)Sunday). In all honesty, we didn’t have the pace compared to the guys next door, it’s as simple as that. The car felt good in both qualifying sessions, but that’s all we had.
“The first race today was tough. The leading cars held their position all day, and I couldn’t manage any more than third place, that’s why qualifying around here was so important. The team did a good strategy and we jumped (Dave) Reynolds, but that sums up the race; we caught the leaders but we couldn’t do anything to pass them.
“In the second race, I got a good start but that was basically it – I was just following everyone from that point on. It would have been an interesting race after the safety car, but I made contact with Davo (Will Davison) and we interlocked wheels which made me run wide into him, and caused some damage to the car.”
Shell V-Power Racing’s Anton De Pasquale has cut into van Gisbergen’s lead, now 214 points behind with Cameron Waters (Monster Energy Racing) in third.