After a stellar weekend behind the wheel of his Red Bull Ampol Racing rocketship at Townsville last weekend, much expectation lies on the shoulders of SVG to repeat his performance this weekend at the same racetrack in the WD-40 Supersprint.
A three-race format will see the field compete once today and twice tomorrow. Seemingly untouchable this season, Shane has been in great form, leading his team mate, Jamie Whincup, and the championship by 245 points.
After the only official practice session this morning, the top five was lead by Scott Pye, followed closely by Anton De Pasquale.
Whilst practice and qualifying this season seems to only separate teams and drivers by miniscule margins, the racecar setup competition is currently being dominated by the Red Bulls in spectacular fashion.
Big hopes for Andre Heimgartner also at this event, following a run of sporadic form of late.
After some feverish work by the Kelly Grove Racing Team to fit new parts to the Ned Racing Mustang, Andre is hoping for a strong showing this weekend.
Heimgartner currently sits 12th in the Repco Supercars Championship, 801 points behind SVG. Hopefully Kelly Grove Racing can improve on qualifying to propel Andre further up the field.
The only other Kiwi in the field, Fabian Coulthard, sits further down the championship ladder in 23rd spot after a few recent DNFs which have cost the veteran V8 Supercar racer some good results.
All drivers pushed hard during the session this morning, with many assisting the groundsman by trimming the grass with their tyres whilst searching for the limits of adhesion.
The top ten after P1 was:
- Scott Pye (DeWalt Racing) 1:12.933
- Anton De Pasquale (Shell V-Power Racing) +0.165
- James Courtney (Boost Mobile Racing) +0.296
- Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Ampol Racing) +0.339
- Jack Le Brocq (Truck Assist Racing) +0.377
- Will Brown (Erebus Motorsport) +0.407
- Todd Hazelwood (Brad Jones Racing) +0.418
- Cam Waters (Monster Energy Racing) +0.484
- Bryce Fullwood (Mobile 1 Middy’s Racing) +0.491
- Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Ampol Racing) +0.510
The first sprint race is scheduled for 18:45pm (NZ time) following the Armour All Qualifying and Top 10 Shootout at 15:45.