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Tander confirmed as SVG’s co-driver

Shane van Gisbergen will take his shot at conquering Mount Panorama this year with three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander by his side as co-driver in the no. 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore.

The Supercars veteran confirmed on Wednesday that he would be stepping down from full-time driving in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, and for both Triple Eight Race Engineering and Tander it was consequently an easy decision to join forces for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

As part of a two-year partnership at least, the 2007 series champion will drive alongside SVG for the Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast 600 and Sandown 500. Both drivers have a championship and a PIRTEK Enduro Cup win apiece, while GT has an impressive record at Mount Panorama, having claimed memorable victories in the Great Race in 2000, 2009 and 2011.

“Triple Eight have clearly been the class team in Supercars for the best part of the last decade, their results speak for themselves,” Garth said.

“When the opportunity arose to join the team alongside Shane for the enduros it was clearly the best way for me to transition from a full-time driver to a co-driver in this next phase of my career.

“I’m really looking forward to joining the team, hopefully bringing some experience and speed along with me, but mostly looking forward to learning from my new teammates, Shane, Jamie and Craig.”

In 2019, Shane’s eyes are set firmly on conquering the mountain, an achievement that he’s yet to accomplish, but has come close in recent years, most memorably in 2016 when he took second place, a mere tenth of a second behind the winner.

“Shane has come so close at the mountain a couple of times in the last few years, I’ve been close a few times in the last few years, so while the mountain doesn’t owe anyone anything, if you keep putting yourself up the front at that race, eventually the cards can fall your way,” GT added.

“Between Shane and I, we will have a ton of experience and plenty of determination to conquer not only Mount Panorama, but also the GC600 and Sandown.

“Whilst Shane and I haven’t shared the same car yet, we’ve been teammates in Australian GT before, and already have a strong friendship and mutual respect. Ironically, it was Shane breathing down my neck when I won my last Supercars race at the Sandown 500 in 2016. I have always enjoyed racing against Shane, and the only downside I can see in this deal is that I don’t get to race against him on track anymore!”

Confirmation of SVG’s co-driver has been a topic of discussion since the announcement of Craig Lowndes’ retirement from full-time driving last year. In the wake of his 2018 co-driver, Earl “Bam Bam” Bamber, confirming his lack of availability this year and the announcement that Lowndesy will team up with his old mate J-Dub, poor Shane was in need of a new co-driver.

“As far as experience goes, there’s probably not many better drivers,” said the 2016 Championship and Enduro Cup winner. “Craig is back driving with Jamie, which is fitting, and if you can’t have Craig then Garth is definitely the best person to have on your team.

“It’s pretty special to have someone of his calibre with multiple Bathurst wins. I haven’t won Bathurst yet, so he’s the best person to give me a shot at that. Someone of that experience who already has those achievements on his CV will be awesome to work alongside. Hopefully he can help me to finally win Bathurst!”

Since joining Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2016, SVG has had three co-drivers who have all been based overseas, making preparation for the endurance season more challenging.

“Having Garth in Australia and already having a good relationship, it’ll be pretty easy to work well together quickly,” he continued. “All this year he’ll be coming to test days and races to integrate himself into the team as soon as possible and we’ll do everything we can to get him up to speed and learn the Triple Eight philosophy.

“Continuing my theme, it’s a shame not to have the same co-driver again. Earl did a stellar job, but being a factory Porsche driver, some of the big races on his calendar conflict with ours again. He did an amazing job for us last year.”

Triple Eight Big Dog Roland Dane said it was an easy decision to team up our Kiwi kid and GT: “As soon as we heard that Garth would be taking a step back from full-time driving, it made sense to find out whether he had any plans for the enduros locked in yet. It’s happened very quickly, but we’re extremely happy to be welcoming him to the team.

“On paper it will be a very good partnership. Shane and Garth are a similar height, Garth is obviously very experienced in not just a supercar but a Holden and they both know how to handle pressure when it matters the most. With Bathurst being the first enduro on this year’s calendar, we should be in a good position to come in as well prepared as possible.”

 

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Night riders: 1-2 for SVG and J-Dub in Sydney

The Supercars series lit up the night sky in Sydney, with Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup burning brightest in a perfect result for RBHRT.

By Matthew Clayton for redbull.com

Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300 event 10 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sydney, New South Wales. Australia.<br /> July 4th 2018

Sydney after dark on a Saturday night can be fun. Add 26 flame-spitting eardrum-splitting Supercars, have them tear around Sydney Motorsport Park for two hours and give them 300 championship points to fight for? Even more fun. And if you’re the Red Bull Holden Racing Team? Saturday in Sydney couldn’t have been much more enjoyable, after Shane van Gisbergen led teammate Jamie Whincup home in a RBHRT 1-2, the team’s third this year and a result that caused a big shift in the title chase.

Ask anyone up and down pit lane whether the move to a one-race night format at SMP was a success and you’d get a universal ‘yes’, but for SVG, those 300 precious points for his fifth win of the year were worth more than just a single victory. After SVG had a neck-and-neck fight over two races in Ipswich last month with Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin, demoting the series leader to third on Saturday night saw McLaughlin’s championship lead slashed to 89 points, meaning it’s officially game on.

On Saturday, SVG made his move on McLaughlin with 10 laps left, scything past his title rival for the lead at Turn 4 after a late-race safety car bunched up the field. SVG and Whincup pitted when the race was neutralised with 20 laps to go when the rear wing of Todd Hazelwood’s Falcon came loose and fell onto the track at the first corner, while leader McLaughlin and Triple Eight’s Craig Lowndes stayed out. On much better rubber when the race resumed, SVG spied a chance to strike, and streaked away after his pass before pulling up to win by two-tenths of a second from Whincup in a RBHRT formation finish.

Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300 event 10 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sydney, New South Wales. Australia.<br /> July 4th 2018

“I think in the end it turned out to be a great race,” an elated Van Gisbergen said.

“When the safety car came out the race really came alive and hopefully we put on a good show for the fans. The front five cars were all on good tyres and had a close battle and were able to put on a good show. Craig and Scotty pitted early and I think we still could’ve run them down without the safety car, it still would’ve all come together.

“The battle with Scotty was epic, he got a bit of pick up and ran a little wide so we got a free pass there. The 300 points wasn’t on my mind during the race but it definitely was in preparation for the weekend. We just knew that we had to do a good job with no mistakes and get a good result.”

Whincup added to his teammate’s pleasure when he nailed McLaughlin at Turn 7 with four laps left, capping off a perfect night for the RBHRT squad.

It wasn’t a night without its stresses though, as Whincup spent much of the pre-race wondering if he’d even get off the line after a last-minute battery change on the grid sent pulses sky-high.

“The car started which was very, very lucky,” J-Dub admitted.

“We had a flat battery at the start of the reconnaissance lap and I got push-started, got enough charge up so the car started when it came around to the grid.

“I was pitting after 97 (Van Gisbergen) which meant they (McLaughlin and Lowndes) were four seconds up the road, but we had good tyre life which meant we were able to come back. The good thing was that we didn’t race each other, we could’ve fought each other or short-filled, all sorts of stupid stuff like that. But … we got the ultimate team result, a 1-2.”

That tyre advantage we mentioned? All part of the plan for the team, even if when they actually utilised it (under safety car conditions) couldn’t have been scripted, or better timed.

All three Triple Eight entries had relatively underwhelming runs in free practice and had to contest all three periods of qualifying, but did the job when it counted, SVG starting third and J-Dub fifth. Van Gisbergen’s fresh tyres saved from Friday practice paid big-time dividends late in the race, and while Whincup sacrificed a couple of grid spots by sitting out the final stages of qualifying, his own ‘green’ tyres undoubtedly helped in his successful pursuit of McLaughlin late.

“It wasn’t just the tyre differential, the laps they’d done earlier, it was that we also had greens,” team manager Mark Dutton told supercars.com

“That wasn’t an accident. The engineers planned that and were prepared to pay a price, it’s pretty tough decision to make.”

What else was tough? Visibility at night, which Whincup felt after Friday practice had the potential to create a “crazy spectacle” on race day.

“The track would be nicer if it were lit up a bit more, but it is what it is,” he said.

“You don’t know where anyone else is, you just see headlights. Normally you can look around and see where all of the cars are and which car is which, but now you just don’t know who is who, so you’re out there just battling away.

“When you’re out on the track you don’t know what’s going on around you.”

Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300 event 10 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sydney, New South Wales. Australia.<br /> July 4th 2018

How did J-Dub feel after 77 laps on Saturday?

“One hundred per cent I think Supercars did a fantastic job, the first-ever night event with lots going on, I thought they did a great job,” he said.

“Of course we can learn from it and make it better for next year or other events, but as I keep saying, while that’s important, we need to make sure we remember that the racing is the most important thing and all that other stuff should complement the racing. We had a great race today because we had two teams battling it out hard, we had fierce competition and that’s what the weekend is all about.”

With the 1-2 result, SVG sits 89 points adrift of McLaughlin in the championship, with Whincup third, the defending champion 433 points in arrears with 10 races left in 2018.

Lowndes made it a Triple Eight 1-2-4 result after starting from ninth, jumping to sixth in the early stages and pitting early to run third in the second phase of the race before leading with 30 laps to go as the fuel strategies shook out.

Second behind McLaughlin when the safety car came out, his old tyres were no match for Van Gisbergen and Whincup in the latter stages, but he was able to jump to fourth overall, 518 points behind McLaughlin after vaulting David Reynolds (Erebus Racing), who finished seventh.

The Sydney weekend was all about what was new, but that theme will carry through to the next round as well, the focus shifting to Tailem Bend in South Australia for the series’ first visit to a brand-new facility on August 24-26.

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HP Australia joins as official technology supplier

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s off-track technology will receive a significant boost from this weekend onwards, the Townsville 400 marking the commencement of the team’s collaboration with HP Australia.

In the continuous search for mere tenths of a second in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, HP Australia joins Triple Eight as the team’s official technology supplier to provide the very best information technology hardware and support.

The tech giant will become the official supplier of Triple Eight’s PC hardware, monitors and trackside data transfer capabilities across each of their three Supercars Championship entries, as well as revolutionising the team’s 3D printing capabilities.

A welcome addition to the Triple Eight family, the collaboration will see the ZB Commodores of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team and Autobarn Lowndes Racing carry HP branding throughout the upcoming Townsville 400 and Ipswich SuperSprint events.

“This collaboration is a huge boost for Triple Eight and the two teams on track,” said Triple Eight Race Engineering Managing Director Roland Dane.

“As an engineering company, we rely heavily on the information technology systems we utilise to deliver championship results on track. We analyse absolutely everything and require the very latest technology to do so. Having HP Australia on board will help us take our capabilities to the next level.

“HP Australia’s 3D printing services will further enhance our current capabilities to print components engineered in-house. 3D printing is transforming our business and how we perform, so to have HP Australia on board is a huge win. It’s a technology that’s moving forward so rapidly, HP will help us to keep up to date and at the top of our game,” Dane said.

“High-performance teams depend on the highest-performance technology, which is why we’re proud to deliver a range of HP hardware and security solutions uniquely suited to the needs of Triple Eight Race Engineering,” HP South Pacific’s Director of Personal Systems, Chris Price said.

“From our latest and greatest HP Z Workstations, through to the ground-breaking HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, which will be delivered by our partner Evok3D, we’re excited to be working alongside the team for the upcoming Supercars Championship.”

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LIVE DIARY: PHILLIP ISLAND SUNDAY

1600 What can we say? We missed the mark today, guys, and we’re sorry about that. Let’s look at the positives though – two straight cars, lots of squiggly lines of data to pore over and only two weeks until we head west for Perth. Here’s what the drivers had to say after a tricky weekend on the Island:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Qualifying Race 2 – Fifth (Fastest Time: 1:30.4956)
Race 2 – Ninth
ChampionshipFifth (805 points)

“The car was on edge in qualifying, really hard to drive, and when it’s on a knife-edge that’s when things go wrong and I just went a bit wide at turn four. It was a tough weekend all round. We seriously lacked grip. Between myself and the engineers we just didn’t get it right this weekend, in particular today. We’re not sure why at the moment, but that’s what all the data’s for and we’ll go over that next week to try and work out what went wrong. We missed the mark by a fair bit, but we’ll move on and try and be stronger next time.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Qualifying Race 2 – Ninth (Fastest Time: 1:30.6055)
Race 2 – Sixth
ChampionshipThird (849 points)

“We made some changes overnight, knowing that we didn’t quite have the speed to the other teams and I think we made a little bit of a backwards step so therefore we ended up ninth in qualifying. It’s super competitive, super close. In the race my car didn’t start out very good at all, but it just got better and better as the race went on. It still wasn’t quite perfect, but I think we played the strategy pretty good by running the second set of tyres longer and we came home with new tyres and made some passes.”

1320 Pit exit is moments from opening. Who’s excited to see our bulls charge?!

1215 It’s always great to hear your support during our autograph sessions, thanks to all our fans!

1110 We’ve set the grid for race 2. Jamie will be starting 5th and SVG will be lining up 9th. We have a long 250km of racing coming up and we hope you will be watching!

1020 We’re wearing these fresh white suits ahead of the Wings For Life World Run – a charity run held simultaneously in numerous locations around the world!

during the WD-40 Phillip Island 500, Cowes, Victoria, Australia, April 19, 2018.

0910 Breakfast has been served and the team are straight into briefing, the all important qualifying is just over an hour away.

0800 Final day here at Phillip Island. We had a crazy day yesterday, what will be in store for today. After a post race penalty, Jamie was stripped of his second place – that’s old news, we are focused on today!

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LIVE DIARY: PHILLIP ISLAND SATURDAY

1800 So there we have it, a race full of drama, we expect nothing less at Phillip Island. J-Dub had an epic battle with Scotty from passes to pit stops, it was nerve-racking! SVG lost his power steering at turn two of lap one so he had a HUGE road ahead of him – lucky for him he’s been training lately so his guns got him to the end. Here’s what they had to say after the race:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Qualifying Race 1 – Third (Fastest Time: 1:30.0523) *Started second due to car 12 grid penalty
Race 1Second

“We just haven’t had the pace all weekend, there’s not other way to put it; we’re just not skinning the cat right. We were lacking pace in qualifying and lacking it in the race. We’re pushing as hard as we can, there’s a lot of elements to the car that are fantastic which are keeping us alive, we just have to do our job better to make the car faster. There are no parity issues, there’s no excuses, we just need to do our job better and we’ll work hard tonight and try and improve for tomorrow. I don’t feel we had the pace but we gave it everything, we pushed hard at the start, we had some cracking pit stops, we did everything we could to get the win but ultimately the quickest car won and that was the end of the day .

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Qualifying Race 1 – Fourth (Fastest Time: 1:30.1799) *Started third due to car 12 grid penalty
Race 1Fourth

“Qualifying was all in the first run, everyone did their best laps first and we waited until the end hoping for the track to get better and to save a set of tyres for the race but we had a little issue where we couldn’t get our lap out in time, which was a shame. The track was best at the start of qualifying so we ended up fourth which was alright. The start of the race was pretty exciting, I got a decent one; we were three wide into turn one and got held third, which was awesome, and then into turn two, the power steering had already failed. It was a long way from there, we were just battling the whole way but it is what it is.

1750 You can never have enough silverware… 😏

1545 Here we go… The race is about to start, here’s the view from where we are:

1420 Hold up… Car #12 has been disqualified from qualifying which means that we all move up one spot – revised order for the race today is J-Dub on the front row (woo!) in P2 and SVG will line-up in row two in P3 with our mate Lowndesy in P4.

1235 The grid for race 1 has been set! Jamie and Shane will be lining up side by side in 3rd and 4th. Triple Eight teammate, Craig is right behind them in 5th . We are in for an exciting race this afternoon.

1147 

1000 Have you got your RBHRT merchandise? We will be heading over to the Official Team Store soon for a signing.

0925 What a Super turn out

0850 We are getting warmed up for the Supercars Super Track Walk. Great opportunity to see the drivers and cars up close.

0730 Good foggy morning 🙂 It’s race day!

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Pit stop stakes are raised with Koala

Red Bull Holden Racing Team Media Release

Friday 20th April, 2018

There is a burning question that lives deep within the souls of the Supercars fraternity. A question that every driver, team and fan has longed to ask, but has never been able to find the words. A question that has, until now, gone unanswered.

The time has come to ask no more. The answer is yes. Yes, you can build a sofa faster than Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen can complete a lap of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Okay, so perhaps that wasn’t everyone’s burning question. But at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, it had sure been on our minds since the day we moved into our workshop in 2008 when it took three hours for 11 mechanics, seven engineers, two drivers, the boss and our CFO to put together our three-piece suite to kit out reception.

When our friends at Koala told us they were expanding their range of super easy, crazy convenient and ridiculously comfortable mattresses to include an equally awesome sofa, we knew we had a challenge for the RBHRT pit crew. Sure, they can change a set of tyres in under four seconds, but can they build somewhere to rest their weary backsides after a long day on track in less than four minutes?

Considering one person flying solo can build a Koala sofa in that time, we decided to raise the stakes. A lap of Phillip Island takes approximately 90 seconds. Did our pit crew beat last year’s pole position time? Watch the video to find out.

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LIVE DIARY: PHILLIP ISLAND FRIDAY

1620 Practice complete, J-Dub topped this session while SVG slipped down a few places.  A lot of work to be done by the crew this evening before we get into it tomorrow. Here’s what Jamie and Shane had to say post-practice:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 1 – 17th (Fastest Time: 1:31.7505)
Practice 2 – First (Fastest Time: 1:29.9856)

“Generally I’m saying we were a bit better than what the time sheet was showing but to be honest it was probably the opposite today, not as good as the time sheet shows. I got a good lap in but the car was not as good as I liked and I’m not sure why, we’ve got a heap of work to do tonight. We’re probably fourth or fifth quickest at the moment if I read it correctly, so we have some work to do. Like always, we will pull all the data from the other cars and see if we can make all three cars go faster.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 1 – Third (Fastest Time: 1:30.7240)
Practice 2 –  Eighth (Fastest Time: 1:30.6213)

“In the first practice today we had a few little issues with the car but it’s all good, it didn’t hold us up. We tried a whole lot of different combinations for our set up and I think we have a pretty good race car. There are some fast cars out there so for qualifying I think we need to find a little something extra but I think for the race we should be alright.”

Jamie Whincup of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the WD-40 Phillip Island 500, Cowes, Victoria, April 20, 2018.

1450 While we wait for Practice 2 to begin (track workers are busy cleaning up after a crash) we thought this would be a good time to reveal how quick our pit crew are – at building a Koala sofa. Check it out in the video below.

1320 It was great to see so many faces at our Official Team Store for this afternoon’s signing session. Don’t forget to grab your gear this weekend. We will be back tomorrow morning for another session.

1220 After Shane reported in that session that he’s “seeing yellow flags everywhere”, the stewards will be changing the yellow panels on the flag marshal points for tomorrow.

Shane van Gisbergen of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the WD-40 Phillip Island 500, Cowes, Victoria, April 20, 2018.

1215 The chequered flag has dropped on Practice 1. SVG set his fastest flyer in the final seconds which put him into 3rd. JW finished the session in 17th.

1110 The fog has lifted, wahoo! Helmets at the ready, we are gearing up for Practice 1.

1022 It’s a slow and quiet start here. As you can see, we can’t see the sea or in to Turn 1!

0900 We’ve woken up to a very foggy Phillip Island, the penguins will be loving it!

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Whincup, Lowndes the big winners in Tassie

The reigning champ and an old favourite shared the spoils at Symmons Plains, but for Shane van Gisbergen, it wasn’t a Supercars weekend to savour.

By Matthew Clayton for redbull.com

The more things change, the more they stay the same – in Supercars at the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint last weekend at least. At an event that revealed Holden’s immediate future in the category and debuted a brand-new qualifying system, it was the past that came into sharper focus – and for two-thirds of the Triple Eight triumvirate, the journey back to the mainland from Launceston would have been an enjoyable one.

About that past; it had been a long time between wins for Craig Lowndes – 623 days since Race 17 of the 2016 season at Queensland Raceway, to be exact. But ‘Lowndesy’ wound back the clock all weekend at Symmons Plains, taking his first podium of the season with second on Saturday, and then going one better on Sunday, converting his first pole in 981 days into his 106th Supercars victory.

Sunday’s win was 24 hours in the making, as Lowndes made an electric start from fourth on the grid on Saturday only to be boxed in behind T8 mates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in the split seconds it takes to traverse the 150-metre run to the first corner at Symmons Plains. Come Sunday, after acing qualifying, there was no stopping him. First into the first corner, Lowndes controlled the race and fended off Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin (who was on a different fuel strategy) to take the flag first for the first time in, well, a long time.

“Relieved,” Lowndes exhaled, when asked immediately afterwards about his overwhelming emotion.

“Last year was up and down, and this year we wanted to be more consistent. We want to be on podiums, we said that from the start. This car suits me, and hopefully we’ve proved it this weekend. It’s been a long time coming.”

It was a win in more ways than one; well back in the championship pack after a tough time of it in four races at the Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne, CL is now sixth in the overall standings, just 61 points off the series leader.

The identity of that series leader? Old teammate Whincup, who initially looked taken aback when he realised he’d taken over at the top of the tree after his sixth successive podium finish. J-Dub was back in 18th place in the standings after a horrendous time of it at the Adelaide 500, but since, he’s been rock-solid.

A win from second on the grid on Saturday preceded his run to third from the same starting spot 24 hours later, and all of a sudden, Whincup was leaving Symmons Plains with an 11-point series lead over McLaughlin and Erebus Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds in his pocket.

“I was miles back (after Adelaide), and now I’m not miles back anymore,” he surmised.

“There’s still a lot of water to run under the bridge, so we look forward to the next one. But today’s all about ‘Lowndesy’, what an effort.

“It was a tough job strategy-wise because there was rain coming over, so (race engineer David) Cauchi did an awesome job. Do we analyse and work out if we can go better? Yes, we do. We’ll look at what we did well and what we can improve on, and come back fighting stronger next time.”

An old favourite winning races, the reigning champion back at the helm of the standings … if the weekend had a familiar feel to it by the end, the future will too after Holden’s announcement that its V6 turbo engine project, in which Triple Eight had played an instrumental role in developing, had been parked for the time being, Holden choosing to “focus on what we have”, as the company’s marketing head Mark Harland put it.

“We really want to focus on what we’ve got now, we’re really happy with the performance of the new car, the ZB (Commodore), on the track, and it’s getting good reactions in showrooms as well,” Harland told supercars.com.

“We’re really happy and want to focus on what we’ve got today. That’s the most important thing.”

Holden may be happy with seven wins in the first eight races of the season, but Van Gisbergen wasn’t in much of a mood to smile in Tasmania after he entered the weekend holding a sizeable lead in the standings, but left it in fifth place overall, 40 points adrift of Whincup.

SVG qualified on pole on Saturday but finished in sixth after an early pit stop for tyres gave him pain with a strategy the team conceded afterwards was overly aggressive, but sixth on Saturday was a good result compared to what happened to the Kiwi in Sunday’s 84-lapper.

SVG started from second spot on Sunday, was right with Lowndes early on, and looked nailed-on for a podium finish. But throttle problems in his second stint under braking saw him struggling to stop the car, in particular at Symmons Plains’ signature Turn 4 hairpin, and he plummeted down the order. A lengthy second pit stop couldn’t correct the issue, and he finished a lapped 25th, the final car classified.

“I felt the problem early on and it just got worse and worse with the throttle and then the brake bias,” he said.

“It was like pressing the handbrake every time we pressed the brake pedal, and then also the throttle jamming, so it was a shame. I wanted to stay out to get points and keep going; it didn’t feel like it was dangerous and I slowed down so it was safe. It’s a shame to have a mechanical problem but in the three years racing here, I’ve never had one with this team. It’s been a pretty good run … it’s just one of those things.”

Shane van Gisbergen of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the , , , April 07, 2018.

Next up? A trip south (or north, if you’re coming from Tassie) to Phillip Island for two races across the April 20-22 weekend. Keen to predict how the Triple Eight three will fare? After Symmons Plains, you’re braver than us …

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LIVE DIARY: TASSIE SUNDAY

1610 We caught up with a happy J-Dub and a not-so-happy SVG after the post-race chaos, here’s what they had to say:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 4 – First (Fastest Time: 0:50.6904)
Qualifying – Third (Fastest Time: 0:50.6882)
Race 2 – Third
ChampionshipFirst

“Our car was similar to yesterday, just not fast enough over a lap at all and the best we could do was third. I was in a massive stacking risk to my teammate which is pretty gnarly at the start there so thankfully there wasn’t a safety car and we didn’t have to stack. My car was okay, it was probably third quickest today so we scored the points we deserved to score. Unfortunately I tripped over Lowndesy in the pits and that’s what cost us P2 today. It was a tough job strategy-wise because there was rain coming over, so (David) Cauchi (Race Engineer) did an awesome job. Do we analyse and work out if we can go better? Yes, we do. We’ll look at what we did well and what we can improve on, and come back fighting stronger next time.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 4 – Eighth (Fastest Time: 0:50.9284)
Qualifying –  Second (Fastest Time: 0:50.5870)
Race 2 – 25th
ChampionshipFifth

“Qualifying today was pretty good, we had a pretty amazing session to be so close to the fastest time and a 1-2-3 for the team which was awesome. Then in the race, I had a good run and a really good car for the first few laps running with Craig (Lowndes). I felt the problem early on and it just got worse and worse with the throttle and then the brake bias. It was like pressing the handbrake every time we pressed the brake pedal, and then also the throttle jamming, so it was a shame. I wanted to stay out to get points and keep going; it didn’t feel like it was dangerous and I slowed down so it was safe. It’s a shame to have a mechanical problem but in the three years racing here, I’ve never had one with this team. It’s been a pretty good run, we have an awesome team here. It’s just one of those things, we’ll just put the effort in and be good for the next race.”


1525 We have a winner and it’s our good mate Mr. Craig Lowndes! We couldn’t be happier. We’re also pretty happy because J-Dub came third! Not so good news on the car #97 side as SVG came through P25. After literally bending like a pretzel in a pit stop (we’re serious), it was revealed there was some serious pedal box issues so he opted to drive slowly to cross the finish line and grab some points.

1400 Five minutes until go time… SVG is P2 and J-Dub not far behind in P3. It’s great to have the company of Lowndesy and the crew up here too, in pole position mind you, we’re all up here like the big Triple Eight family that we are 🙂

1205 Just two hours until Race 2… Time to put our heads down and work through the data, strategy and car set-up.

1145 We have a Triple Eight grid lockout! Team mate Craig Lowndes has taken pole position (congrats mate!). SVG and J-Dub fill out P2 and P3 respectively.

1105 The qualifying series begins… SVG and J-Dub get to put their feet up for the first part before things get serious.

0955 Practice 4 begins – just 20 minutes for the drivers to get in to the top 10, to skip Qualy Part 2.

0700 We go through the new practice and qualifying format again today – practice is important as it determines which qualifying session we start from. The rules again below for your reference:

Practice 4

These 20-minute practice sessions will hold a greater weight than normal with the Top 10 drivers of the practice session going straight to Qualifying Part 2.

Drivers who finish P11 – P26 in Practice will have to go to Qualifying Part 1.

Qualifying Part 1 (10 mins)

The P11-P26 from Practice 4. The Top 6 here will go to Qualifying Part 2. The remaining 10 drivers will fill the bottom over the grid (P17-P26).

Qualifying Part 2 (10 mins)

The Top 10 from Practice 4 + Top 6 from Qualifying Part 1 battle it out. The Top 10 here will go to Qualifying Part 3. The remaining six drivers will fill out P11-P16.

Qualifying Part 3 (10 mins)

The Top 10 from Qualifying Part 2 battle it out to determine the grid positions of P1-P10 for Race 2 today.

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Archive Press

LIVE DIARY: TASSIE SATURDAY

1800 Here, we have some quotes for you – straight from the horses mouth:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 3 – First (Fastest Time: 0:50.7396)
Qualifying Race 1 – Second (Fastest Time: 0:50.6897)
Race 1First

I was a little disappointed I didn’t get the qualifying lap that I could’ve today, the car was at its worst when we needed it the most. It’s okay though, it was good enough for the front row which is great. I bogged the start and now that’s two bad starts in a row for me so I’m pretty disappointed by that. We had pure pace, Shane pitted and we bolted so the pace got us out in the lead and we were able to control the race from there. We had our head down and went as hard as we could but, although it might look simple on the outside, there’s just so much going on around a short little track like this. We had plenty of pressure from behind with a lot of guys pitting late, so there was a lot going on although it looked like we were out the front controlling it. It was lucky we didn’t need a safety car at the end because our tyres were pretty much done.

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 3 – Second (Fastest Time: 0:50.8112)
Qualifying Race 1 – First (Fastest Time: 0:50.6381)
Race 1Sixth

It was cool to see how the new format worked today; obviously we missed the first part so that was cool to be able to watch the others race around. Then we went out and had two good sessions ourselves – we were up in Q2 and in Q3, we managed to get the fastest lap in which was awesome. The race, not as good for us, it started alright and we had a good lead but we pitted early to keep the lead and that was probably a little aggressive. We were then pushing hard on those first few laps which really hurt the tyre. That just made it a long 45 laps home and we just ran out of tyres. We need to make the setup better and I think we were a little too aggressive –  we thought other drivers would run longer than they did and they were quicker at the end and just attacked us then. We probably should’ve been a little bit more conservative.”

1735  Jamie “J-Dub” Whincup takes out P1 in the first race of the weekend! SVG falls behind in P6. In an nutshell, SVG held his pole position, J-Dub P2 and team mate Lowndesy went up in front of Scotty to secure P3. From there, SVG made his pit stop really early, came out in line with Scotty, pulled away. J-Dub pits then holds the lead as SVG slowly loses tyre power as drivers start to pit later in the game and start overtaking.

1645 Race 1 for the weekend is underway, we’ve got 120kms ahead of us in the cold Tassie climate.

1515 Our final autograph session is complete, great to see all the punters out enjoying the beautiful weather on top of the hill.

 

1335 SVG has taken pole position for our first race today and J-Dub not far behind win P2. Our mate Lowndesy is in P4, how good! SVG always has time for the fans, especially the little ones…

1320 Qualifying Part 2 complete and we have progressed through to the final stage… This next part matters.

1255 The new qualifying series begins, we’re sitting out Part 1 so SVG takes the opportunity to sit back and watch.

1105 Practice 3 coming right up! Today’s practice isn’t as important as yesterdays – although valuable opportunity to get the car 100% ready for Qualifying.

0930 We had our first Super Track Walk of the season for all of our super fans – perfect opportunity for everyone to check out the cars and say hello to the drivers all in one spot.

0700 We have quite a large day today. After meeting all our fans on the grid first thing, we head to Practice before the all-important Qualifying series. Race 1 isn’t until later this arvo so we’re positive the drivers and crew will be going through a few Red Bulls.