Triple Eight details van Gisbergen failure
Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton has detailed the suspension failure that led to Shane van Gisbergen's heartbreaking exit from today's Supercars race in Adelaide.
Van Gisbergen looked to be on course for victory in today's second 250-kilometre leg in Adelaide, only for a series of unfortunate events to take him out of the running.
While a pitstop blunder initially cost him a crack at victory, it was a suspension failure three laps from home that put paid to a decent bank of points in the top four.
The team has been able to ascertain that it was a lower control arm on the right that broke. The exact cause of the failure, however, will require more investigation.
According to Dutton, factors such as a faulty anti-roll bar – almost a race-long issue for van Gisbergen – may have contributed to the issue.
"We can see that the right lower control arm has failed," he said. "Without stripping the car we can't know what caused it.
"The anti-roll bar being in a different stiffness position than intended means the suspension is working a little bit differently as well. Usually things aren't coincidences.
"We'll look at the answers, but we can't say that right now."
When asked if the new control damper could have played a role, Dutton said it would certainly form part of the investigation.
"We do have to analyse that. As I said with the roll bar, there are generally no coincidences.
"I'm not saying it's the damper's fault at all, but it's not like we'll exclude it from our investigation.
"We'll look at every piece of the puzzle and make sure we assign the blame, the responsibility, to each component as rightly deserved so we can move forward."
Van Gisbergen wasn't the only driver in a Triple Eight car to have a control arm issue, with Scott Pye's Team 18 customer car suffering a similar failure during practice on Friday.
Having ramped up the inspection of control arms following Pye's race, Dutton is sure the van Gisbergen damage was done during the race.
"We'd be foolish not to take that as warning," he said. "So sure, all weekend they were meticulously inspected.
"We're confident that 97's went into the race not bent, not cracked, because of the Pye one. We were inspecting them with greater diligence."
The suspension failure came after an almost certain win was ruined by a costly second stop, with the fuel hose disconnecting before the minimum fuel drop had been reached.
As a result van Gisbergen, at that point leading the race, had to make a third stop that dropped him to fourth.
The team to will now investigate whether it was a simple mistake from the refueller, or if an electronic glitch could have led to the green light on the hose illuminating early.
"It's a tough role, everyone thinks it's easy but the pit crew has a lot of pressure on it," he said.
"We've got to check we haven't had an electronic failure, because in that last stop the fuel man is waiting for a light to tell him when to detach from the car.
"We don't think there was an electronic failure, but we'll review the video to be sure. There were cameras there, we've got our pit boom camera as well.
"Hopefully we can get a better picture as to what happened so we can improve on it."
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