Just how do they learn to drive so proficiently living on a couple of tiny islands?
c, so Kiwi drivers Shan van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin are proving the superior racers in the 2018 Supercars competition.
The just-run Townsville 400 provided a case in point.
Van Gisbergen had a weekend to remember, although he will have to remain cognizant of the adage that What Happens in Townsville Stays in Townsville. That is not a true adage, however, as nothing of note happens in Townsville.
He ran as the runner-up on Saturday, and then came back to win the Sunday race.
It was van Gisbergen’s first win since the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars season got underway in Adelaide back in March. He has been a top producer all season and the recent strong performance moved him closer to fellow Kiwi driver Scott McLaughlin in the championship standings, narrowing the margin to 131 points.
Van Gisbergen and his team seem to be gaining better than adequate control of the new Commodore ZB they brought to the track earlier this year.
He pointed to the climb he and the team have experienced with the car in both qualifying and racing trims as the season has progressed.
“I’m just happy we genuinely took the fight to these guys (DJR Team Penske),” van Gisbergen said.”I feel like we’ve been one of the fastest cars in racing but we’ve had to compromise the strategy to try and get clear air and move through the pack.”
Defending champion Jamie Whincup had good results as well and has climbed from fifth to fourth in the standings, but he still finds himself in an unaccustomed position, trailing the lead by 430 points.
His tone was not nearly so upbeat as is van Gisbergen’s.
“I’ve stopped looking at the points these days. I’m a fair way behind, it’s going to be a long shot,” Whincup said.
For McLaughlin’s part, he copped to having a bad driving day in Townsville, “Really to be honest my driving today just sucked,” McLaughlin said.
That may be just the ticket for vacuum cleaner races; for Supercars, not so much.