Shane van Gisbergen and his TEKNO Autosports team were pleased with a successful new chassis shakedown today and are now focusing on featuring at the front next weekend at the SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin.
The new Darrell Lea STIX Commodore – nicknamed Lola – ran the allowed 60km today at Queensland Raceway, and team boss Steve Hallam said everything went well.
“[It went] very smoothly indeed – it was lovely weather and the car ran faultlessly, so hopefully that will continue throughout its lifespan,” Hallam told v8supercars.com.au.
The team made the most of the outing and Hallam explained there had been a reasonably extensive checklist to ensure everything was in order, despite the short running time allowed.
“We make a run program that allows us to validate all the systems on the car – so it’s a massive checklist, and there are a lot of things you want to check that are operational when the car is running, and you can only check when it’s running,” he said.
“It’s about being patient and running through all of those checks – when you have a full set of ticks you can sign the car off for taking to a race meeting… We’ve got a small job list to sort out now we’re back in the shop but nothing that will take more than an hour or so.”
Van Gisbergen was pleased with his new toy, and said that while there were no issues with his old chassis – which he campaigned for over two seasons – it was nice to have a new V8 Supercar. He currently sits seventh in the Championship, after finishing second overall last year.
“Pretty exciting to get a new car because [I’ve had] the other one for two and a half years. There was nothing wrong with the old car, it hasn’t had any big hits or anything – we’ve had that new chassis in the shed for over a year now, so good to put it on and it feels really nice straight up.”
Both Hallam and van Gisbergen were tight-lipped on any upgrades, though the Kiwi driver said there wasn’t much change from his last car.
“Everything’s just new and nice … they [the crew] have learnt so much more about the car, all the systems are much nicer so the guys are pretty happy with how it’s ended up.”
The name Lola was chosen by his number one mechanic. “Steve Hallam used to work on old Lolas as well, so it’s fitting but a nice car name,” van Gisbergen said.
He and Hallam were positive about the June 19-21 SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin – Hidden Valley is a track the Kiwi has gone well at in the past, and was part of a memorable finish for TEKNO, as van Gisbergen chased down Mark Winterbottom in the closing stages and finished second last year.
“I hope we’re the car in front [this time], to be honest!” Hallam said. “But if need be I’d settle on second place.”