The current Supercars champion is not happy with Mark Skaife, the famous racer and member of the Supercars Board. It all started at the season-opening Newcastle 500 when the champion refused to answer questions from the press which he said was a way of protesting against people who disagree with him about the new Gen3 platform.
Van Gisbergen had a clear explanation for his actions that were criticized by Skaife on live TV. Van Gisbergen admitted he could have handled the protest better, but stands by his decision to speak out about censorship and Skaife’s comments.
“I didn’t do a good job with the things I had to do after the race,” he said on the Rusty’s Garage podcast.
“Chad Neylon and Jess are really important for our sport because they try to make it better.”
When Jess asked me something after the podium, I knew my answer without paying attention to her question. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best thing to do because her actual question really made me think about my racing more than any other stuff out there.
I know I need to be better though.
I’m really disappointed by the things Skaife said. We’ve been giving him feedback on the Gen3 car and he knows what we’re going through with it. But his words were not right.
“We shouldn’t pretend that all is perfect with the car after just one race, because there’s still a lot of work and development to be done. Even though, underneath, it already looks great; it still needs time to reach its full potential.
That’s why we should not be afraid to openly tell people what needs fixing and what should be improved. We shouldn’t try to hide any issues or make it look like everything is wonderful.”
Van Gisbergen got a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues after the difficult situation he encountered. He said it was really awesome to hear what they all had to say. Even people from the media showed him their understanding and gave him warm words during that time.
“It’s really nice to have that kind of support,” said Skaife. He added that he had tried to make peace with Van Gisbergen before the Australian Grand Prix last week, but Van Gisbergen was unsure of what would happen next. “We’ll find out how Supercars decides to handle it,” he said, adding that he had received some unusual calls afterwards from people above him.
“I don’t know what will happen, but I’m trying to focus on my driving and the Grand Prix instead. It was a strange feeling after not winning any races. I am facing an internal dilemma of how much help I should give to Supercars.”
He said that the series organizers are looking for his help to make their new cars better. However, he wants to stay focused on trying to do better in Newcastle and winning a 4th title. It’s difficult for him to balance this out, so he admitted that he is struggling with it.
Last week, they wanted me to help improve the car. I told them to look at what we talked about nine months ago since nothing had changed since then. But now they want to make some changes. On the one side, I want the series to be better, but on the other hand, I’m in it to win the championship! We just have to work with what we have right now.
I got put in a difficult spot with 150 points deducted. I’m feeling torn because I just want to start racing again and try to get back those points over the coming weeks. But, at the same time, I want what’s best for everyone who is involved.
We’re all having the same struggles, so it’s really hard to figure out what to do. All I know is that when I come to Melbourne, I’ll give my hardest and do my best.