HE is the defending Supercars champion, defending Enduro Cup champion and has never won the Bathurst 1000, but Shane van Gisbergen says he is not feeling any pressure ahead of this year’s Great Race.
“No I don’t feel pressure, not really, I don’t think like that,” the Red Bull Racing star said.
“I just go out there and do what we do and see how it works out.”
It is an approach which has both led to plenty of success for van Gisbergen and at times cost him better results.
He will head to Bathurst sitting fifth in the championship – 414 points behind leader Scott McLaughlin – after a late puncture saw him place 15th at Sandown last month.
Though the Bathurst 1000 offers 300 points to the victor, van Gisbergen feels his title defence is over.
“It obviously puts us out of it,” he said after Sandown.
“Now it’s just about race wins, having some fun and making the car better for next year.”
In order to try and win races – something he has done four times so far this season – van Gisbergen will keep his same ‘take things as they come’ attitude.
“It’s got to be the same, we’ve got a few points to make up on our side, but I think if you put too much pressure on yourself and expect things to happen, it might not come off for you,” he said.
“So yeah, we’ve got to have the same approach at the start and prepare well.”
Last year van Gisbergen placed second in the Bathurst 1000, crossing the line 0.1434 seconds behind Will Davison.
It is a race he would love to win – and thinks he can given the strength of his team – but again, he refuses to put pressure on himself to claim the chequered flag.
“Bathurst is one we’ve never managed to win, so it would be cool to get up there this year, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“I’ve been close a few times before and as I said, if you put too much pressure on you’ll stop doing the things that come naturally, so for me we need to prepare well.
“It is such a long day and anything can happen so you’ve got to keep a cool head the whole day and if you do, you’ll come out of it alright.
“I know that I’ve got an awesome team, the best team that there is and the guys who are working on my car are all top notch. I’ve got full confidence in my team and my co-driver, so I think anything can happen.”
If you put too much pressure on you’ll stop doing the things that come naturally.Shane van Gisbergen
Van Gisbergen will have Matt Campbell sharing his seat, an emerging talent who has found good success in the Porsche Supercup series.