Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen has been given the nod by boss Roland ‘RD’ Dane for his impressive start to the 2020 Supercars season, and his personal and professional development over his four-year tenure at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

Speaking on Greg Rust’s ‘Rusty’s Garage’ podcast, RD was impressed by SVG’s work outside of the race car which has ultimately seen his results on track exceed expectations.

“Shane has come into the year more committed to the preparation side of his racing and is looking after himself more. He’s realised that he is old now, and the natural fitness you have as a 20-year-old isn’t there, suddenly you have to work harder when you’re 30 – it’s just part of growing up we’ve all been through that,” RD said.

Who you calling old, RD?

SVG has had a roller coaster start to the 2020 season. He claimed a podium in Saturday’s race one in Adelaide, and pole for Sunday’s race two before succumbing to a broken lower control arm after leading the majority of the race, ultimately forcing him to park the #97 Commodore at turn seven, three laps prior to the chequered flag.

The speed continued into the Australian Grand Prix, with SVG set to start race one of the Melbourne 400 from pole before the event was ultimately postponed until a later in the year.

SVG’s growth is credited to one main contributor, says RD.

“Since he’s been with Triple Eight, Shane has got more confident, a little less shy and better at handling people. He’s also got more confident in his own ability and rightly so.

“If he wasn’t one of the top three drivers in the category, he’d be the top data man in the category.”

Maybe data engineer should be SVG’s calling post-Supercars career?

“His understanding of data, his reading of data, the way he processes it and his ability to explain it to a third party, be that an amateur driver for instance, is superb.

“His current data engineer, Martin Short, was a very good Formula Ford racer. Martin’s claim to fame is that he beat Scotty McLaughlin back in the day – I think that’s Shane’s screensaver on his laptop.”

You’re digressing, RD…

“But yes, Shane has a massively high understanding of the data side of the sport.”

SVG will look to capitalise on his season thus far when the Supercars season gets back on track in June, with the Supercars All-Stars eSeries to fill the void during this period.