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Van Gisbergen details mystery issue in Supercars swansong

SHANE van Gisbergen’s Supercars swansong ended on a sombre note at the Vailo Adelaide 500.

The Kiwi failed to finish either of the 250km races – his first consecutive DNFs in over a decade.

While his Saturday demise was the result of being an innocent party in an opening-lap crash, Sunday’s race ended in mysterious circumstances.

Van Gisbergen ran sixth midway through the race before his second scheduled pitstop was followed by the first in a series of return trips to pitlane.

“Before the (scheduled) pitstop it was a little bit funny, then we did the pitstop and it felt like a loose wheel,” van Gisbergen told V8 Sleuth.

“I was full driving down the straight crooked and then I braked, and it would go the other way.

“I came in, they tightened the wheels obviously, it did the same thing, another set of tyres, same thing. It was a bit confusing.

“We changed the dampers, but it didn’t really seem to fix it. It’s a shame.”

The car was eventually withdrawn with 52 of 78 laps in the books.

Van Gisbergen affirmed that the issue felt different to the steering rack complaints he had earlier in the weekend and throughout the season.

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Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton said the team will continue to investigate the issue once back at its Brisbane base.

“We tried to replace some different components that could cause those type of issues and ultimately we didn’t get to the bottom of it,” Dutton told V8 Sleuth.

“It gets to the point where there’s no point spending the rest of the race trying to diagnose a problem, not only risking your own car but interfering with people who are still in the race.

“We decided to park it and we’ll get to the bottom of it back in the workshop.”

Van Gisbergen ended the year second in the drivers’ standings to Brodie Kostecki, while Triple Eight was runner-up to Erebus in the teams’ title.

Van Gisbergen heads to the garage. Pic: Ross Gibb

Van Gisbergen’s Sunday in Adelaide did include one accolade, the Kiwi presented with the fan-voted Most Popular Driver Award on the grid before today’s race.

“The fan stuff has been amazing, what the people have been saying and giving me and stuff, it’s been pretty cool,” he said.

“To get the popular driver again by the fans is always something I never really know how to take or what to say about it, it’s pretty special to get that again.

“It’s been a tough weekend and obviously we wanted to do better but it’s exciting now looking forward to what’s about to happen.

“I travel (to the US) in a few weeks, start learning and getting into it.”

Three-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen now turns his attention to his a new career in NASCAR in the United States.

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