SVG on Pukekohe: 'it will be no-holds-barred racing'
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Comment: Shane van Gisbergen shares his thoughts on NZ Supercars fans, Pukekohe and an all-Kiwi title fight.
I've been lucky enough to race at some iconic tracks around the world. But I've never witnessed anything like the roar from Kiwi fans when you come over the hill on to the front straight at Pukekohe.
You can see them standing and, despite all the noise, you can hear them cheering. It is pretty unreal and really special. I had my first motor racing experience when my Dad took me to Pukekohe – and I grew up watching Murph dominate the Supercars racing there.
It is where I got my passion for this sport, so for me it is really special to come back here every year and race in front of my friends, family and the fans.
I also love the track. It is different from all the others. It has those bumps that give it some character and make it pretty exciting. And you have to be brave coming over the hill onto the front straight and keeping your foot in at the end of the straight.
I'm coming over with my team, the Red Bull Racing Holden Team, with a chance to win my second Supercars Championship. I won it two years ago but didn't have a great year in 2017. That has fired me up for this year.
I'm only 14 points behind Scotty McLaughlin. While my team-mate Jamie Whincup is not completely out of things, it's cool to think that a Kiwi could win the championship.
Pukekohe is going to be cool and I am looking forward to having a good crack. Scotty and I have had some great battles and we respect each other. But it will be no-holds-barred racing over the weekend.
I have had four wins at Pukekohe since my first in 2011, and Scotty has won there also. And our teams are as good as each other.
A key will be not making mistakes. I want to be aggressive but equally you can't do anything dumb.
The guys and girls in the team have been working hard in the few days since the Gold Coast to make sure we can roll out a fast car tomorrow.
I hope the fans come out in force. Bring it on.