Shane van Gisbergen says he wasn’t concerned about Katsumasa Chiyo’s pace on the final laps of the Bathurst 12 Hour, despite the Nissan driver closing to within 1.2s at the finish.
Van Gisbergen was undoubtedly the fastest driver of the weekend, breaking both official and unofficial lap records with his pace in qualifying and the race.
But a race which included 13 stops, a pit-lane penalty, and an electric glitch that shut down the car on pit straight at half-distance made life difficult for the #59 Tekno McLaren.
Despite all that, a stunning final stint saw van Gisbergen regain control of the race. His only concern was a hard-charging Chiyo over the last few laps, but as van Gisbergen explained post-race, even that wasn’t a genuine concern.
“He came at me one lap, did a 2m03.0, [so I did] a 2.8,” said van Gisbergen. “The car had plenty of pace. If I had a clear lap, I could have gone quicker.
“The brakes were pretty worn [on the last lap], but I was just managing them.
“There was no point doing twos when he was 15 seconds behind. I could see him on the big screen coming out of the Chase when I was going across the startline.
“I was just managing that.”
Penalty Giz’s fault
Van Gisbergen also put his hand up and accepted blame for the drive-through penalty he was given two hours from the end, admitting that he forgot to turn on the pitlane speed limiter after doing a hard-reset of the car at the last stop.
Resets became part of the team’s pit-stop process after Alvaro Parente stopped on-track mid-way through the race and needed to to restart the car.
“The worry was if it was going to happen again, but it was alright,” said van Gisbergen. “Every pitstop we started resetting the car and setting all the computers up again.
“[The penalty] was on the reset. I forgot to turn the speed limiter back on. That was my mistake.”