Shane van Gisbergen has become one of the best teachers for young talents, says Red Bull Racing’s team boss Roland Dane.
Van Gisbergen notched up his tenth win of the season yesterday in Townsville and the 50th of his career.
He is the firm favourite for this year’s title, with the end of season trophy quickly becoming his to lose.
Yet, despite his immense raw speed, Dane took time to acknowledge another factor of van Gisbergen’s success over the weekend.
Dane believes his Kiwi sensation has moved on from his sly, reserved former self and has become of the best mentors for junior drivers.
“He never used to want to give away any of his personal IP to any young bloke,” Dane said on the Supercars telecast.
“And I remember having a conversation with him asking him ‘what do you tell young so-and-so what you think;’ [to which van Gisbergen would say] ‘no, I don’t want to do that.’
“Today, there is no better teacher.
“There is no better guy to go with to Norwell or something and help young aspiring drivers.
“He is just a lot more comfortable and a lot more confident.”
Kaleb Ngatoa was one young New Zealand driver fortunate enough to spend some time with van Gisbergen at the Norwell Motorplex earlier this year.
The two briefly raced head-to-head in this year’s New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs. Ngatoa claimed a stunning pole position in a wet qualifying for the main event.
Van Gisbergen then reached out to Ngatoa and offered some driver training while the two were in Australia.
“[Shane] is straight up and straight forward,” Ngatoa said.
“He will tell you what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right. But I think that is the best way to teach.”
As for van Gisbergen’s great form this year, Dane sent an ominous warning to the field.
“He’s had a linear trajectory, and he’s just got to a higher scale the last few years as he got comfortable with himself.
“That experience and speed trajectory, they are both still on the up for him.”