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HomeNewsVan Gisbergen’s four-point plan to fix Supercars

Van Gisbergen’s four-point plan to fix Supercars

SHANE van Gisbergen has pleaded with Supercars to listen to its fans as he moves on to the next chapter of his racing career.

Van Gisbergen spoke frankly but fairly about the category on the last edition of the 2023 Red Bull Quarterly Report on the Gypsy Tales Podcast, with his Supercars full-time career now over and the NASCAR dream upon him.

Asked how he would fix Supercars, van Gisbergen came up with four key suggestions: a rebranding, wind tunnel parity testing, a change of tyres, and the removal of mandatory fuel drops.

“The first thing I would do is rebrand it back to V8 Supercars,” he said.

“Then, I would do the wind tunnel testing for parity, which they are doing.

“I would put a different type of Dunlop on it. Dunlop has been a huge supporter of the series and they have kept the costs down, but the tyres have fallen behind because of it.

“So I would put, even if you had to spend a bit more money, you’d make a tyre that could handle the heat, handle some pushing, but just give people less of them to offset the cost of it. Or just spend more money on tyres.

“They’re the most important part of a race car and that would make the racing much better.

“Then, I would probably get rid of all the fuel drop stuff. They brag about how the engines are so much closer than ever, so why do they put us in a box with the fuel drop?

“If you could change the start level or how much you had to put in, you would bring in fuel saving, trying to have different levels of pitstops, or amount of how many pitstops; I think that would make the racing much better.

“That’s probably the four biggest things and those things instantly would make good change, I think.”

Tyres have been cited as a limiting factor on the ability for drivers to follow closely even in Gen3, with the only real change to the rubber from what was used in Gen2 being shifting towards softer compounds.

The same tyre range is set to be used in 2024.

Shane van Gisbergen during the Adelaide 500. Pic: Ross Gibb

“Dunlop can make good tyres, like they kill it in all of the competitions where it’s an open tyre, so the technology is there, we just need to use it,” van Gisbergen added.

Overall, the three-time champion pointed to a need to better listen to fans – but did note he thinks incoming Supercars general manager of motorsport Tim Edwards will bring positive change.

“I just hope they listen to the drivers really and let the drivers have some input, but more importantly the fans,” said van Gisbergen.

“Everything you read online or talk to people, it’s going in the opposite direction, some things, from what people want.

“Hopefully it gets better, hopefully they make the cars a bit more raceable and get rid of the fuel drop and all that kind of stuff because at the moment, you look at Adelaide, everyone does the same thing.

“You race around, you get held up, your tyres get hot, everyone does the minimum fuel, and then you come in for the second one and do this ridiculously long pitstop. Everyone just does the same thing and there’s no racing.

“We were all promised a car that’s more raceable and could drive harder and make mistakes. You look at Bathurst, I didn’t drive a lap flat out the whole race, I was driving around two seconds off what I could do, just saving tyres and driving around.

“It was probably a boring Bathurst; it was good for my part being out front, but Bathurst always comes alive at the end because everyone is pushing hard, on the limit, hitting walls, making mistakes in the marbles, but you had 25 guys and girls driving around there at 50 percent not making mistakes and we all just drove around spread out.

“Hopefully they can make some changes and make the cars raceable and you have got to drive them on the limit, the tyre likes to run at a higher temperature or there’s something you can do with the car to just make it be able to push and follow, because at the moment the following is probably worse than last year.

“When you catch someone, the car just cooks and then you’re stuck just doing whatever the guy’s pace is ahead.

“I think Tim Edwards will be good, I think he will be a good person to level it out and implement some changes.

“It sort of looked like the last guys were a bit burnt out or gave up or didn’t take criticism very well.

“Hopefully Tim is good for the sport, I think he will be.”

Signed by Trackhouse Racing, for whom he won on Cup Series debut in Chicago, van Gisbergen is set to compete in various tiers of NASCAR next year.

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