Van Gisbergen on McLaughlin dominance: 'We need to do a better job'
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The 2020 Supercars Championship has obviously been relatively disjointed. But, unlike a lot of other international race series', it's back in action. After three rounds, Kiwi Scott McLaughlin leads the points comfortably, as the only driver to win races at every round of the season so far.
For most of the season, McLaughlin's closest rival on the timesheets has been fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen. But, that speed hasn't been reflected in the results.
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Van Gisbergen currently sits down in seventh in the points, having only claimed two podium finishes and no victories. The 2016 series champ led early in two of the races at the category's last visit to Sydney Motorsport Park, only to slip down the order in each race.
“Our car has been really fast. Pace is not an issue,” he said, speaking to Supercars.com. “I feel like we were pretty close to Scott [McLaughlin] at a track where he has been pretty dominant the last few years, so we feel good being able to get close to his times in qualifying.
“It will be interesting to see how that translates when we go to Darwin but yeah, this year qualifying has been pretty good.”
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team's strategy calls came into question at the Sydney event two weekends ago. Unlike a lot of other teams, the iconic squad decided to try and ration its allocation of soft Dunlop rubber across the three races, instead of aiming for a win or two.
Van Gisbergen went away from the weekend with a fourth, an eighth, and a 12th place to his name. Teammate Jamie Whincup fared even worse, with a fifth, 17th, and eighth place to his name. But, Whincup still sits in second in the points.
The series currently prepares for another weekend of tyre strategy, with a double-header event at Hidden Valley in Darwin just around the corner (August 8–9 and then August 15–16).
“It will be interesting to see what people come up with the second time around, who sacrifices, who goes for the win, and on a different style of track,” said van Gisbergen. “But first of all, we just need to do a little bit better a job and be faster, and then read the situations better.
“It’s certainly interesting times and we just have to adapt to this weird style of racing.”