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Why Brown avoided Bathurst victory burnout

WILL Brown did a sterling job of filling Shane van Gisbergen’s sizeable shoes on debut for Triple Eight at the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

A pole position, a race win and the championship lead marked a dream start to the 25-year-old’s Triple Eight tenure.

In one weekend, Brown silenced many critics who said he should have remained loyal to Erebus Motorsport, and those who said Triple Eight should have signed Richie Stanaway instead.

But there was one element of Brown’s weekend that didn’t meet the standard set by three-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen, as the youngster confessed post-race.

“Stepping up and taking (Shane’s) seat, obviously there’s pressure that comes with it,” Brown told Supercars Trackside. “But I feel like last year I did a good job to prove that I’m in the championship and I can win races.

“The most pressure I felt is the last two laps, I thought, far out, everyone is going to expect me to do a burnout and I can’t do one!

“I thought all these people are going to rip into me after the race for not doing a burnout like Shane van Gisbergen.

“I’ll have to go over there (to the United States where van Gisbergen is now based) and get him to teach me or something. I didn’t even bother trying, I was like, I’ll just make a fool of myself.”

Brown is full of praise for the Triple Eight team, describing working with the Brisbane-based Supercars benchmark as even better than he had expected.

Broc Feeney and Will Brown post-race. Pic: Supplied

“It’s been quite amazing working with them and it’s the small things and the small details they do,” he said. “I think it proves why they’ve been a championship contender for the last 20 years.”

Then there’s teammate Broc Feeney, with whom Brown is relishing a new dynamic.

“You go from fierce competitors in the championship thinking ‘I might have to run this bloke off somewhere’, and this year you’re not allowed to do that!” he laughed.

But as for getting to grips with the Triple Eight-style of car, Brown says that’s a work in progress, and there are lessons to be learned from van Gisbergen’s previous handywork.

Will Brown. Pic: Nathan Wong

“Jumping in the car this year was quite hard,” he said.

“I was thinking I’d jump in and see what the differences are and that, but I went to Ipswich and not Winton, so I couldn’t really decipher what was so much different compared to the Erebus car.

“I was able to get comfortable in the car very quickly, the ergonomics are the same these days really, it’s what they’ve done the whole way down pitlane.

“I felt like I had pretty good race pace (on Sunday), which we struggled with a little bit throughout the year last year.

“It’s something that I’ve got to work closely with (engineer) Andrew Edwards on. He’s had Shane for the last three years, so he knows the best about that.

“I’m just trying to look over old footage, old data of Shane’s and try and see what I can take out of that to make myself better.”

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