Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

A TALE OF TWO KIWIS; Different Strengths in Top Two

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

A TALE OF TWO KIWIS; Different Strengths in Top Two

Article excerpt



MOTORSPORT: I don't know what they're putting in the water in New Zealand, but boy are they producing some outstanding race drivers.

Kiwis Scott McLaughlin (DJR Team Penske) and Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight Engineering) lead the Supercars drivers' championship heading into a pivotal Ipswich SuperSprint this weekend.

Just 131 points separate them after van Gisbergen's last-start win in Townsville two weeks ago.

But while they are very similar performance-wise, they are two very different drivers.

It's quite interesting to look at the two dynamics. Van Gisbergen is the better racer, the most aggressive racer, but McLaughlin is a better qualifier.

It's probably the qualifying that has got him into the position of being top of the leaderboard in search of his first title.

Van Gisbergen, on the other hand, races his way to the front.

But which one is going to give them the championship - better qualifying or better racing?

McLaughlin's the leading pole sitter this year by a huge margin - eight from 18 races.

If you start on the front row, there's a good chance you won't get caught up in any drama.

But not always. When you look at the final round at Newcastle last year, racing was what let McLaughlin down, what cost him the championship.

Wheel to wheel racing. He got tangled up a few times.

If it comes down to the last round and it's an all-out street fight, you'd probably put your money on van Gisbergen.

He's tougher in that respect.

I visited the Triple Eight workshop last week and there was definitely an air of confidence.

Veteran drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes could be the spoilers in Ipswich.

Lowndes, in particular, has enjoyed tremendous success at the Queensland Raceway, winning 12 of his past 21 races there.

In Whincup (as part of the Red Bull Racing team) and Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes Racing), van Gisbergen has got a teammate and an indirect teammate. …

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