Shane van Gisbergen forecasts a tough day at the office in today’s Bathurst 1000 but hopes a shift in the weather can give the Red Bull team some much-needed speed.
Van Gisbergen was only the seventh fastest car in the top-ten shootout. He starts the race in fifth after both Erebus cars were disqualified.
Last year’s Bathurst 1000 winner was obviously disappointed with his performance so far this weekend.
His teammate Jamie Whincup lacked enough speed to make the shootout, qualifying only 11th.
In practice, van Gisbergen looked fast. Yet nothing could translate into desired one-lap pace.
It has the Kiwi puzzled.
“We’ve been lacking in qualifying pace this week,” he said.
“I’m not too sure how to diagnose the car but qualifying is behind us now and full focus turns to the start of the race and how we’ll tackle the 161-laps around The Mountain.”
Unless you start last and win, no one really remembers what happened in qualifying come to the end of the race.
Today is a new day for everyone in the field.
Van Gisbergen says the car should have decent race pace, and he hopes the predicted cooler temperatures plays into his hands.
“It looks like the weather will be a lot cooler, and fingers crossed that helps our race car.
“We had a fantastic car and fantastic pace last year, so we’ve got some focus areas which we can hopefully make better in the race, but it’s going to be a long day.”
Whincup is also quietly confident the Red Bull team have a better race package than what qualifying may have suggested.
“I think we’ve got a quick race car; we’ll see what Sunday throws at us,” he said after qualifying.
Van Gisbergen and co-driver Garth Tander look to be the first repeat Bathurst winners since Whincup and Craig Lowndes in 2007 and 2008.