Dale Budge is a sports writer for the NZ Herald.

Motorsport: Giz backing Baird but is fuming at penalty

Shane van Gisbergen of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint. Photo / EDGE Photographics
Shane van Gisbergen of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint. Photo / EDGE Photographics

Defending Supercars champion and series leader Shane van Gisbergen is backing fellow Kiwi Craig Baird's appointment as Driving Standards Adviser despite being frustrated with a penalty given to him in Tasmania.

The 27-year-old was handed a 15 second time penalty by Baird and others in last Sunday's race at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, which culled any chance of victory, after he made minimal contact with Todd Kelly's Nissan at the hairpin.

Kelly led van Gisbergen down the straight but locked his wheel in the braking area and the New Zealander dived down the inside. Kelly managed to make the corner and turned in hitting the Red Bull Holden Racing Commodore.

"That is a hard one -- I thought about that a lot," van Gisbergen told Radio Sport.

"From my point of view I was following him up to the hairpin and saw that he had the right front locked up pretty heavily and I didn't expect him to make the corner.

"I wasn't even trying to pass him -- I just went to the inside to take a normal line and then all of a sudden he has unlocked the wheel and turned the corner.

"When I spoke to him afterwards he didn't even know I was there.

"I got pinged for it -- I've accepted it but it was a hard one to accept because he was all locked up on the outside not looking like he was going to make the corner."

Despite the setback, van Gisbergen charged back through the field to finish ninth and protect a narrow championship lead heading to the next round at Phillip Island.

Van Gisbergen joked that he had little help from his Kiwi mate Baird, who helps rule on driving infringements.

"There's no Kiwi bias is there?" he said with a laugh.

He fully supports Baird's appointment however and the change in procedure being used in 2017.

"It isn't just him though -- it was two or three guys now that oversee that kind of stuff.

"When I got penalised in Melbourne I went through the process for the first time and it is quite different this year. There are two or three guys going through the footage with you and look at what is acceptable and what you have done wrong.

"It is a well thought-out process now and not rushed. I think it is definitely better but that one I'm a little confused about."

- NZ Herald

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