Hamilton: Champion rowers savour taste of V8 action

World champion rowers Mahe Drysdale and James Dallinger were left searching for superlatives after hot laps round Hamilton's new street circuit with New Zealand V8 Supercar sensation Shane van Gisbergen yesterday afternoon. Three-time World...

World champion rowers Mahe Drysdale and James Dallinger were left searching for superlatives after hot laps round Hamilton's new street circuit with New Zealand V8 Supercar sensation Shane van Gisbergen yesterday afternoon.

Three-time World Single Sculls champion Drysdale, and Dallinger, a member of New Zealand's World Champion Men's Coxless Four, joined TV3 Rugby Editor Hamish McKay as guests of Stone Brothers Racing with each getting a three-lap ride in the team's SP Tools Racing Falcon with fellow Kiwi van Gisbergen.

After settling the question of who would go first with a quick game of paper-rock-scissors James Dallinger was the first of the rowers to slip on fireproof overalls and a helmet and be belted into the specially fitted passenger seat. The smile on his face said it all when car #9 came thundering back down pit lane.

"That was amazing," he said.

"I've never been so fast in a car before, particularly round the streets of Hamilton. The quickest car I've ever been in before was a turbo but Shane's car is in a completely different ballpark. Going round one of the corners on two wheels was pretty cool too!"

Fellow Beijing-bound rower Mahe Drysdale was also impressed by the power of the SP Tools Racing Falcon. It was how close its talented young driver got to the concrete walls which line the temporary Hamilton circuit which made the biggest impression.

"There were certainly a couple of times when I was holding on for dear life thinking we were going to touch them, but that's obviously what you have to do at a place like this. Incredible. Shane seemed so relaxed. He looked like he was enjoying himself too. We were joking before we went out about me doing the driving but I think I will leave that to the professionals! Fantastic."

Van Gisbergen was one of a number of V8 Supercar drivers on hot lap duty on Friday afternoon and like most Kiwis he was well aware of Drysdale and Dallinger's achievements.

"That was fun," he said.

"It's always good to let someone else experience what it is like to drive the SP Tools Racing Falcon around a track. They were pretty quiet but I think they enjoyed it!"

It was a good day for van Gisbergen, the young gun having set the third quickest lap time in practice behind Team Vodafone's Jamie Whincup and Toll Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander.

-credit: stone brothers

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Jamie Whincup , Shane van Gisbergen
Teams Holden Racing Team