Motorsport: Van Gisbergen back in the game

By Eric Thompson

Shane van Gisbergen is back in the game, and not with his old team, but Tekno Autosports, and to the consternation of quite a few fans, in a Holden. Photo / Getty Images.
Shane van Gisbergen is back in the game, and not with his old team, but Tekno Autosports, and to the consternation of quite a few fans, in a Holden. Photo / Getty Images.

New team, new car, new engine and by the looks of it, a new driver. New Zealand V8 Supercars driver Shane van Gisbergen walked away from the category in 2013 saying he'd lost his passion for the sport.

Eight weeks late it was announced he was back in the game, and not with his old team, but Tekno Autosports, and to the consternation of quite a few fans, in a Holden.

The young Kiwi certainly announced his intentions at the opening round of the 2013 series with style by setting pole position for today's first race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

He hold off challenges from Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes to achieve his first solo pole position. Newcomer to the series, and fellow Kiwi, Scott McLaughlin made the top 10 shoot out on debut and finished 10th with Fabian Coulthard ticked nicely in fourth.

The fourth New Zealander in the field, Jonny Reid, had a testing afternoon in he'd never sat in before this weekend and could only manage 27th.

"We were in the top five for most of the day and the car felt amazing. I am enjoying myself and just going racing. I am just getting out there and doing it," said van Gisbergen.

"It is an amazing feeling to score my first proper pole position."

Things weren't too good for the two new manufacturers in the championship with the best placed Nissan in the hands of Michael Caruso qualifying 13th and the best placed AMG Mercedes piloted by Lee Holdsworth in 23rd.

The first of the two 78 lap races for the weekend starts at 5pm NZ time.

Former two-time world MotoGP champion Casey Stoner's move to four wheels was a mixed bag. He crashed out in race one on Friday but showed he might have the goods today. Starting from the rear of the grid in 30th place, the Aussie muscled his way through the pack to finish 14th showing top 10 pace along the way.

- NZ Herald

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