Our drivers only get 16 weekends of racing in the Supercars season, so it’s no surprise when we see them jumping behind the wheel of all types of race cars around the world.
Yes, we might get a little envious seeing our drivers flirting with other cars but we’re happy to see them off to spread their wings. And what’s the harm in gaining some sneaky little tricks on a track we’re already set to race on? Especially if it’s a branding spanking new one…
The newest track in town, The Bend Motorsport Park, 100km outside of Adelaide, is the newest addition to the Supercars championship calendar, so when Shane “SVG” van Gisbergen said he was heading down to have a crack on the freshest of fresh bitumen, we were more than okay with it.
Last weekend, SVG took his first laps of the track, teaming up with Tony Quinn behind the wheel of his McLaren 650S GT3 in the first leg of the Australian GT Championship’s endurance season.
“We raced the new track on Sunday, it was awesome,” SVG said.
“It’s very challenging and tough. It will be very hard in a supercar but I think it will be a good race track and a good spectacle for our sport.”
After first practice and qualifying were completed on the long 7.77km GT configuration, the race on Sunday was scaled back to the 4.95km International Circuit that the Supercars will use, after there were issues with dust on the track.
SVG’s fastest lap of the weekend around this shorter track was a 1:48.3729 set during practice two. “So how will the RBHRT Commodores shape up in comparison?” we hear you ask. Let’s just put it this way – if you’re parked up opposite the start-finish line, you’ll be waiting longer to see the car again than at Phillip Island, but not quite as long as Bathurst. Does that help?!
“As a long circuit, it has a bit of everything; some of it is like the Phillip Island circuit where it’s free-flowing, then some of it is like any other track that is tight and technical,” SVG continued.
“The setup will be a bit of a compromise but I think it’s going to be good fun.”
A new track that gets SVG’s tick of approval? We’re all for it, and we’re sure the fans will be too come August.
“It was good to learn. It’s awesome to have another new track in supercars,” SVG said.
The Bend SuperSprint will take place for the first time over 24-26 August when SVG will be hoping to finish a few spots higher up the order than the 11th place he claimed last weekend.