There is a reason why Shane van Gisbergen is one of the most feared drivers in Supercars.
He is a racer’s racer and he proved it – again – on the streets of Townsville while battling Scott McLaughlin during the Saturday sprint.
SvG rebounded from a lacklustre Townsville1 weekend by hustling his Red Bull HRT Commodore onto the front row for the start of Townsville2 and then applying his signature pressure to race leader Scott McLaughlin.
He was clearly planning a late ambush on fresh tyres.
But then his power steering failed, and SvG showed why he is what he is.
David Reynolds had already had a power steering failure on his Penrite Commodore and parked the car, clearly deciding the car was undriveable.
As he limped into the pits, trailing a huge cloud of blue smoke from burning power steering fluid, there was only one thing on his mind.
He wanted a bigger steering wheel that would allow him to get back into action, using muscle power to compensate for the lack of power assistance.
“He wanted the bus wheel,” one of the Bulls crew tells Race News.
“That’s what we call it. Because it’s like a bus steering wheel. We always have it on stand-by in the garage.
“We brought it in after Phillip Island a few years ago, when we also had a power steering problem.”
The #97 Commodore was rushed back into action but there was no chance for a comeback drive as officials black-flagged the car for a mechanical problem.
What happens next? SvG and The Bulls get to work on a fix for the seal in the steering rack, and plan for another Sunday comeback.
SvG is happy and, even if he was out-qualified on Saturday by his team mate Jamie Whincup, he is up for another racy end to the weekend.
“I felt we definitely had potential to post a good result today. In qualifying, we were up the front for each session which was really encouraging,” van Gisbergen says at the end of the day.
“So we made a really good step there compared to last week. The race was going well and the car felt good. Hopefully we can fix the power steering rack for tomorrow’s two races,” he says, knowing the car will be right and it will be down to him to make the difference on the track.