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HomeNewsVan Gisbergen opens up in wake of Newcastle controversy

Van Gisbergen opens up in wake of Newcastle controversy

THREE-TIME Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen has made further comment in regards to his post-race media stance and thoughts on the new Gen3 cars during the weekend’s season-opening Newcastle 500.

The Kiwi wrote a lengthy post on social media this evening, describing comments made by five-time Supercars Champion Mark Skaife as a “real kick in the teeth”.

Skaife was critical on Sunday on FOX Sports of van Gisbergen’s post-race stance to avoid further discussion with media in post-race TV interviews and the media conference that later followed.

“It was a real kick in the teeth hearing those comments from a 5 time champion – someone I look up to and respect,” van Gisbergen wrote.

“I am not going to pretend it’s all roses when it is not.”

Van Gisbergen had maintained a notable silence on the new Gen3 cars in the lead-up to the season, however has added further detail in his social post, loaded on Monday evening.

“Most people probably have noticed I have been pretty quiet publicly over the past couple of months,” he wrote.

“My purpose of writing this is not to ‘explain myself’ nor to expect sympathy for the public bashing that some of us drivers get, I guess I’ve always been told like most of us as kids ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.’

“I will never forget I’m in an extremely fortunate position of being a V8 Supercar driver, my dream job.

“It’s not a secret I haven’t been a fan of the way the Gen3 car feels and drives, and behind closed doors I’ve been pretty critical of things and tried to make it better, firstly with feedback to the category in the prototype testing and now with my team trying to make the race spec car to my liking.

“The category seems to think our complaints and gripes with the car will ‘make better racing’ if we are struggling and we are told to be positive and show the sport in a good light, which of course I understand the last part. I try to be as neutral as I can with my critiques of the car, I act with the intention of representing the drivers trying to make the car better for everyone.

“As much as I don’t have a good feeling with the car at the moment it drops perfectly into my strengths – Hard to drive, on edge, hard on tyres. Perfect for me! So what am I complaining about? I guess I want not only myself, but all drivers to be getting out of the car raving about how awesome and fun it is to drive. Which is something that’s not really happening now.

“Over the weekend I probably said a bit too much publicly on Friday about the heat of the cars, although it did prove fruitful getting extra cooling for the drivers. Many still struggled, including myself with the heat.

“Unfortunately that upset some of the top brass and hence my adopted media strategy for Sunday ‘if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all’. I just knuckled down and drove my arse off on track.

“I understand it’s my duty to represent the sport in a good light as Champion, I will do that to the best of my ability by being myself off track, racing hard on track for my team members, team partners and our fans. It was a real kick in the teeth hearing those comments from a 5 time champion – someone I look up to and respect. I am not going to pretend it’s all roses when it is not.

“The messages I have received today from fans, friends, colleagues and media members has been surprising and amazing. I was pretty down last night so to have such support today from the people that matter is a great feeling.

“I love my team, they have been awesome this last couple of months helping me prepare and be at my best at Newcastle. I can’t thank them enough.”

Red Bull Ampol Racing has appealed the decision to disqualify van Gisbergen and teammate Broc Feeney from a 1-2 finish in the first race in Newcastle on Saturday.

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