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Shane VanGisbergen this weekend is at Silverstone to run in the McLaren for Von Ryan Racing at the 2nd round of the BlancPain Endurance Series. His chief Engineer in V8 Supercars Dr Geoff Slater took the opportunity to go travel to Monza with Shane in his first run in the GT 3 category and shared his thoughts with Supercar Magazine, “Its fantastic it’s totally different to what we run.”


Slater enjoyed the opportunity to experience the differences between the two series, “V8 SuperCars is a very tailored sport compared we have been doing for a couple of years now, and we have a lot of refinements, which they don’t have. So it was fascinating to see how a McLaren factory team presents it car, and go about their changes.”


Slater said one of the most obvious differences is the money that funds the BlancPain series, but when he looked at the detail it was not as different as many would have expect, “racing is racing and everything seems equitable, what we do here we can use over there it’s just different.” Slater explained where in some areas, V8 SuperCars have advantages over the GT 3 cars, “We can change a rear damper in five minutes, it something we can do in a practice session, the McLaren factory team on the other hand have to do it outside the session because is just a long and difficult process, so some things that we do really well, obviously with the time factors and the cost factors that we have force on ourselves we do a pretty good job of making second count.”


For Slater, the trip with VanGisbergen allowed him to see the legendary Monza circuit, “It’s even more fantastic then I even imagined, even the old track that they don’t use any more all the banks section are really cool to checkout, and it’s full of crazy Italian fans.”


Another challenge Slater enjoyed was to see how the engineers managed with 60 cars on the track, all running with different strategy and at different speeds, “In V8 SuperCars, we have a timing screen that has 25 cars on it, with 60 cars it was three different screens, you had to scroll through to see where you are running through pitstop it’s a lot different to what we are used to, and to be honest it’s good to have so many cars out there, it seemed like there is 5 million Ferraris and be honest it’s good to have that variety


While Slater has remained in Queensland this weekend, He is considering heading to Spa for the 24 hour race with VanGisbergen later in the year. Slater believes that these trips do provide opportunities for him to improve the number 97 Commodore, “you pick up little pieces everywhere, whether it is useful or not you soon find out but every piece of information helps.”

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