Lucas Oil’s Shane van Gisbergen heads to Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend gunning for a return to the front at one of his favourite circuits on the calendar.
Van Gisbergen, who celebrated his 100th round start in V8 Supercars at the last round in Ipswich, came away from the event at Queensland Raceway with 177 points care of two 10th places and a fourth.
However, the star driver is hopeful that pace shown by his VIP Petfoods/Lucas Oil Commodore at the pre-season SMP test in February will translate to better results this weekend – crucial for a potential title bid later in the season.
“It’s a pretty important time for us at the moment,” Van Gisbergen said.
“We need good results this week, and a strong endurance campaign if we want a shot at the title. If we can do that, we’ll definitely move back up the leaderboard.”
Van Gisbergen has already won four races in 2014: three at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix, and a famous victory during the ANZAC Day weekend in the ITM 400 Auckland.
The Lucas Oil-backed driver last raced at SMP in 2012, with his best result seventh.
The event, which didn’t feature on last year’s calendar, follows the SuperSprint format – with three races over two days.
There will be two 100km races on Saturday, and a 200km feature on Sunday; and drivers will have allocations of both the soft and hard tyres.
Shane van Gisbergen, #97 VIP Petfoods/Lucas Oil Holden VF Commodore:
“Ipswich wasn’t too bad for us. The fourth place was OK, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the big points race on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to the Sydney Motorsport Park weekend. Our car was good at the test there, so hopefully it translates to results.
“It’s a great race track with a lot of history. I like to think that it will suit our car, and that we can have a good weekend. But we won’t know until we get there.
“The mixed tyre rounds, when we use both hard and soft tyres, usually make for great racing. So it should be great for drivers and fans alike.”