The Red Bull Racing Australia team has had time to recover (and get our hearts out of our mouths) after a mega weekend at the Apple Isle.
Tassie turned on the sunshine across a spectacular few days of racing, which felt like a rollercoaster ride for all those involved.
The one to watch over the weekend was none other than our own RBRA young gun Shane Van Gisbergen, who took home his first win for the team and made his way into the Holden Motorsport record books, claiming the manufacturer’s 500th win in the sport.
Matching the pace he had in the Saturday race on Sunday, SVG led the pack… Well… Right up until he hit a nasty patch of oil and got stuck in the sand trap, ending in a DNF.
It’s an outcome no one could have predicted, and left not only those who work on car #97 speechless, but the whole team.
Beside his driver all the way, Car 97 Race Engineer Grant “Shippy” McPherson experienced the weekend’s peaks and troughs, so we spoke to the man behind the machine to get his two cents on the weekend.
How did it feel to get SVG’s first win with RBRA?
It was great to help Shane get his first official win with RBRA, and incredible to be a part of Holden’s 500th victory. It was incredibly pleasing to continue our form from Albert Park, and also continue Red Bull’s domination of the Symmons Plains circuit.
There is no doubting the car had some serious pace, are you onto a winning formula?
We have a solid base setup at the moment, and the car is behaving well by responding to our changes. All of the hard work completed last year to develop this car is continuing to pay off. Shane and I have been able to use “normal” tuning tools without needing to experiment away from what we know works.
After leading the field in Sunday’s race, to finishing in the gravel, it must have been gut-wrenching. What was running through your head at that moment?
Once we were in the gravel it was obvious that the win was gone, but we never wanted to give up getting the car out and trying to salvage some points. At this stage of the year the priority is to try to win as many races as possible, but when things aren’t going your way it is crucial to salvage any points on offer. It was devastating to end up with zero after such a strong performance. Shane had been able to race hard and aggressively in the first half of the race and then controlled the pace brilliantly in the second half. He deserved a lot more than he got on Sunday.
How are you and SVG working as a dynamic duo?
I think we have gelled well and very quickly too. We have been able to work well to prioritise the correct handling issues to tackle first & identify the correct tools to fix them.
SVG is already itching to get to Phillip Island, do you feel like you both have something to prove?
I wouldn’t say that we have something to prove, as everyone knows Shane’s talent and potential.
But we will be going to Phillip Island with something to achieve, neither Shane nor I have ever clean swept a multi-race weekend and that will absolutely be our aim.
Next stop for the RBRA crew is Phillip Island, April 15-17.
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