After two successful years racing together – and earning surfboards on the Gold Coast last year – it’s important to Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb to end this weekend on a high.
This weekend is most likely the last time the quick Kiwi will pair with his team boss for the endurance races with van Gisbergen moving on next year.
After shifting to the team for the 2013 season in unusual circumstances, van Gisbergen has cemented himself as one of the stars of the sport and credited his time with TEKNO as his best ever.
“The last two, nearly three years, have been the best of my life,” van Gisbergen told v8supercars.com.au.
“I got to race in Europe, GT, Time Attack, drifting and stuff I’ve never been able to do before – so I’ve been racing every week basically this year, and it’s been awesome.
“I would have never been able to do that without them and it’s been pretty exciting as well as going well in the V8s.”
Last year the pair finished third in the hunt for the Pirtek Enduro Cup and this year sit in the same position coming into the Gold Coast.
“I think no matter what, we’re out there trying to win and come out with a surfboard, certainly for the weekend,” Webb told v8supercars.com.au.
“But in saying that, certainly for now it’s the last time I’ll drive with Shane at TEKNO, so it’d be nice to put on a good show.”
Webb has been one of the standout co-drivers again this season and while Sandown and Bathurst didn’t go quite as planned (finishing third and eighth) last year’s win on the Surfers Paradise streets spurs them on.
“Definitely going in off the back of winning a couple of surfboards is always a nice way to enter the following year. Certainly doesn’t mean it’ll be easier than any other year.
“I think all in all the endurance races, both Sandown and Bathurst … wasn’t as much success as we’d like. It’s been a pretty good run between Shane and TEKNO itself.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this weekend.”
Webb was part of a great stoush with Scott Pye at Bathurst, diving for the lead at the Chase as the two battled for track position. Both cars had to pit and did not want to lose time double stacking behind the other.
It was an ambitious dive from Webb, and a sequence Pye called ‘the best fun since go-karting’ but unfortunately the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore came off second best. Fortunately, van Gisbergen was able to make up the spots and pass the car in his wet weather stint following.
“It’s a big race, lots going on and I certainly wasn’t going to die wondering,” Webb said.
“Nowadays, the competition is so tough you can’t afford to be conservative.
“You’ve got to push every lap and the Gold Coast is more competitive than what Bathurst is – [Bathurst is] 1000km so there’s a lot more strategy to it.
“The ‘Indy’ race is very short, very sharp – we’ll just be pushing 110 per cent every lap and fingers crossed we come back with a straight car and a surfboard if all goes well.”
Despite good form as a co-driver, Webb is not sure on his position for next year.
He is yet to think about driving again in 2016, with a full-time driver the first requirement on the list.
“Everything’s pretty chaotic at work at the moment – there’s fair bit going on so I’m more trying to get myself in the headspace of what’s going on this year, haven’t even thought about [driving] next year,” he said.
The pair sits 138 points behind Pirtek Enduro Cup leaders Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen.
Van Gisbergen is currently seventh on the Championship tally.