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Van Gisbergen, Percat made peace after Darwin clash

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Van Gisbergen, Percat made peace after Darwin clash
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Shane van Gisbergen says he and Nick Percat cleared the air following their first-race clash in Darwin on Saturday.

The Triple Eight star was involved in a three-way scuffle with Brad Jones Racing teammates Percat and Todd Hazelwood on the opening lap of Saturday's first race.

The drama looked to start when Percat and Hazelwood went two-wide through Turn 5, van Gisbergen then nudging the back of Percat's Commodore and tipping him into the side of Hazelwood's car.

Hazelwood dropped to the back of the field, Percat was taken out of the race, and van Gisbergen was hit with a drive-through penalty for his part in the clash.

After retiring from the race Percat told the TV crew that the contact from van Gisbergen was "laughable" and that the Kiwi was "having a Shane day".

When pressed on the issues the next day, van Gisbergen said he had no issue with Percat's on-screen comments and explained that the pair had cleared the air on Saturday evening.

"He's like that, though, isn't he. He has an accident, and in the media he says what he likes," said van Gisbergen.

"I went and spoke to him and he was fine. And that's what matters. If you're straight up in person, that's cool. I don't give a s**t what he says in the media, that's what he looks like.

“To my face he’s all good and seemed to accept my apology, and then we had some great racing [on Sunday].

“So it’s all good on my end.”

 

The Percat clash, and subsequent penalty, capped off a difficult Saturday for van Gisbergen in Darwin, which started with complaints of a rear suspension issue in practice.

He says the rapid-fire schedule made it impossible to identify the problem until Saturday night, which put him a day behind in terms of set-up.

Once sorted van Gisbergen was able to finish Sunday's races seventh and third, but was left to rue a poor Saturday that could have helped his dwindling title hopes, given both Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup picked up penalties.

“We found some things in the car [on Saturday night] which was really good. But once the day starts, it’s so quick-fire we weren’t fully able to analyse,” he said.

“We changed out a lot of parts and did improve the car and some things, but yeah, we pinpointed [the issue] and right from when I weaved up the tyres [yesterday] morning it felt perfect.

“Unfortunately we were a day late with the set-up, it felt like our weekend was starting a day behind but I think we did a pretty good job.

“We just weren’t quite as quick as the front two but it was good to get on top of that issue.

“We missed a day where we could have capitalised on the front two guys making mistakes, but all good.”

Van Gisbergen declined to comment on what the specifics of the Saturday issue.

He currently sits 271 points, just 29 shy of an entire round, behind McLaughlin.

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