Driver’s Eye View: Phillip Island

Our V8 Supercars racecraft expert Tony D’Alberto looks at that headline-making incident between David Reynolds and Shane van Gisbergen, talks about picking on Mark Winterbottom, and explains why Jamie Whincup was a lucky man on Sunday.

Driver’s Eye View: Phillip Island
Shane van Gisbergen, Tekno Autosports Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Tekno Autosports Holden
David Reynolds, Rod Nash Racing Ford
David Reynolds, Rod Nash Racing Ford
David Reynolds, Rod Nash Racing Ford and Cameron Waters, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Start action: Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup , Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden

Let’s kick things off with the most controversial move of last weekend – Shane van Gisbergen on David Reynolds.

For me, it was a pretty disappointing move on van Gisbergen’s behalf. Shane just moved him out of the way, and I’m not sure how he could possibly think that he had any entitlement to that section of road.

He basically bumped Dave mid-corner off the previous corner, which put him off line and affected his run out of the turn. And then, with barely a nose of overlap, he decided to stay in there and turn Dave around.

For me, Shane did the wrong thing. And I also don’t think Dave did anything wrong. Yes, there was a bit of a kerfuffle at the start at Turn 1, and that may have contributed to the aggression between them, but it was still too much.

I don’t, however, believe it was anything to do with the championship. I don’t think Shane was trying to help Triple Eight, I don’t think he would have been thinking about it politically like that.

I think it was just an over-aggressive move.

Frosty vs The World

Mark Winterbottom may have felt like he was getting picked on a bit during Saturday’s races, but again I don’t think it had anything to do with the fact he’s leading the championship.

At the end of the day, race drivers are race drivers. They want to race.

At one point Frosty and James Moffat were rubbing panels a bit; James doesn’t care who wins the championship, he’s just worrying about his own race.

For Winterbottom and Prodrive boss Tim Edwards, it’s a very stressful time. With that title on the line, they probably do feel like they’re being attacked. Realistically, it's the same sort of racing that they’ve been involved in all year, it’s just that everything is a bit heightened at the moment. There is just so much to play for.

But the other guys in the field aren’t going to back down just because Frosty is trying to win a title.

Frosty vs Whincup

I’ll finish on Jamie Whincup’s rather opportunistic move on Frosty on the last lap of Sunday’s race.

I have to say, I think Jamie was in the wrong here. There was no overlap until he was basically on the grass, and there was no room left because Frosty had covered his line.

It was the last lap of the race, so it’s alright to block a little bit. Frosty was entitled to cover his line, and Jamie came down with two wheels in the dirt trying to get the move done, and then made contact with him.

To me, that was a little bit rude. I was surprised that Frosty was so cool with it after the race. Maybe he’s just trying to play it cool so that he doesn’t give off the sense that he’s being picked on – because in any other circumstances I wouldn’t have expected him to be so calm about it.

When I looked at the vision of the cars coming over the hill from front on, I thought Frosty had squeezed Jamie. But when you watch the on-board, Jamie doesn’t get inside until he’s right down into the corner and on the grass.

He made the commitment from the top of the hill that something was going to happen – regardless of what it was. And it could have very easily been tears.

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