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Van Gisbergen convinced Bathurst rivals are sandbagging

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Jan 31, 2020, 7:37 AM

Shane van Gisbergen is convinced that much of the Bathurst 12 Hour field was sandbagging during today's practice sessions.

The two Triple Eight Mercedes ended the day on top, van Gisbergen pipping Supercars rival-turned-GT teammate Anton De Pasquale in sweltering summer conditions.

The next best car was the #222 Valvoline Audi, Kelvin van der Linde's time eight-tenths down on van Gisbergen's benchmark.

However, as good as the T8 one-two looks on paper, van Gisbergen isn't expecting the advantage to carry over into qualifying.

He reckons both the locally-run Mercedes put their best foot forward during that final practice with a full qualifying simulation, while the rest of the field were sandbagging ahead of tomorrow's running.

“Our team is doing a great job with the car, but it’s an unknown, because we’re probably the only ones not sandbagging," he told Motorsport.com.

“Tomorrow, everyone will turn up, but this is a good start for us. We’re tapped out, pretty much. I think others will get quicker.”

Van Gisbergen added that he struggled in the hot conditions, which saw temperatures peak at 39 degrees celsius, particularly as he wasn't running the in-car air-conditioning during flying laps.

“I don’t really like Australia at this time of year. I wish I was back at home in New Zealand," he said.

“[The air-conditioning] is worth about four to six-tenths per lap, so [team boss] Roland [Dane] won’t let me run it! We’re all struggling, but on the out laps and in laps, we put it on to cool down for our runs.”

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2020 Bathurst 12 Hour schedule

2020 Bathurst 12 Hour schedule
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