SHANE van Gisbergen believes a rival team should take a chance on Declan Fraser for a full-time 2023 Repco Supercars Championship program.
Triple Eight Race Engineering is charging towards another Supercars/Super2 title sweep, Broc Feeney having won the second-tier crown last year to cap his apprenticeship as Jamie Whincup’s replacement.
Fraser is now following in Feeney’s footsteps – except without a specified pathway of how to make the next step.
Victory from seventh on the grid in a chaotic Sandown race today moved Fraser more than a race win clear atop the standings.
But with van Gisbergen and Feeney locked in at Triple Eight next year and seats elsewhere quickly drying up, Super2 glory might not even be enough to guarantee Fraser a promotion.
‘SVG’ tonight threw his support behind the 21-year-old, who will partner Craig Lowndes in a Repco Bathurst 1000 wildcard effort in October.
“He’s been pretty awesome,” said van Gisbergen.
“I think today shows why he has got the orange numbers on the car: he’s not the fastest guy out there – well he is very fast – but he didn’t pass anyone today, he was just smart and calculated with everything he did.
“You can see the difference from how much he has spent in our debriefs; he’s in every debrief just sitting there… he’s just an awesome kid and a good person to have around.
“I think he’s having a proper crack and you always love helping someone like that so anything he asks me or the team, everyone always is happy to help him.
“He’s doing everything he can to make sure he gets into Supercars next year and he probably deserves someone to give him a shot.”
Van Gisbergen yesterday extended his own championship margin to 401 points, despite his five-race win streak being snapped.
Ironically, van Gisbergen was unbeaten in traditional Ford territory at The Bend last month, only for Will Davison and Dick Johnson Racing to hit back today at one of Triple Eight’s strongest circuits.
“It’s certainly interesting, like Tailem Bend is normally a track we struggle at and they dominate and then vice versa for this one,” said the Kiwi.
“So it’s interesting the way the cars have developed and turned around, so we need to look at some things and be a bit better.”