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Video: Shane van Gisbergen’s mad drifting V8 Supercar
Crazy Kiwi racer has turned his race car into a fully-fledged drift car
Shane ‘Gizzy’ van Gisbergen is our kind of racing driver. Not because he’s incredibly capable and quick across many disciplines (this year he’s simultaneously competing in V8 Supercars, McLaren GT cars and the 24 Hours of Daytona), but because he loves hanging the backside of his V8 supercar out during races. And we’re not talking little skids, but full lap balletic Formula D-worthy drifts.
Gizzy’s over-exuberant driving style illuminated a little lightbulb in the 27-year-old’s head. See, instead of using his V8 Supercar as a drift car, he wondered what would happen if he turned his V8 Supercar into a fully-fledged drift car.
It was a challenge accepted by Red Bull Racing Australia. Borrowing teammate Jamie Whincup’s chassis from the Ipswich SuperSprint race in July, the team transformed the Holden Commodore into a drifting demon.
They ripped out the whole front end, gave it four times the amount of steering lock (60 degrees), bent steering arms, dual brake calipers at the back, slammed then widened it, and then added the ultimate drift weapon: a hydraulic handbrake. Or drift stick, as we like to call it.
Now, most circuit racing drivers hate going sideways. Even the mildest whiff of oversteer gives them a sleepless night as it piles on the milliseconds and chews through tyres.
Not Shane. He took his new 5.0-litre V8 toy to Sydney Motorsport Park after dark and dropped the hammer. Having competed in Australian and New Zealand drifting championships, SvG was pretty adept at bunging the V8 into corners backwards, grabbing the handbrake to transition – allowing the chin spoiler to scrape off the kerbs – before torching the rears through another corner.
“To be able to combine my love of drifting with a Supercar was cool,” Shane said. “I never thought I could put the two together, but the car performance was really great. I was able to really go hard around the bends, we really smoked it up.”
Well, let’s hope he straightens out his lines for the next round of the Supercars championship – the Bathurst 1000 – that’s being held this weekend. Actually, no we don’t. Keep it lit, son.