Driving for Stone Brothers Racing, the driver pairing of Shane van Gisbergen and John McIntyre is rated by many as the all-Kiwi team with the best chance of winning Australasia’s most famous motor race, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, which is running this Sunday 10 October.
McIntyre, who has twice won the New Zealand V8 championship, says it’s exciting to be lining up with van Gisbergen at ‘the great race’, the star endurance events of the Australian V8 Supercar championship.
“The bookmakers have us as the top rated all-Kiwi driver pairing, so we’re not the only people expecting us to do well!” says the Nelson-based McIntyre.
“This is the first time that I’ve been driving in a car classed as one of the potential winners, so that’s a real highlight for me. It’s also the first time I’ve been contracted to drive at Bathurst two years in a row, so that gives me a lot of confidence that, together, Shane and I can do a great job in the #9 SP Tools Falcon.”
McIntyre says that they haven’t dwelled on not finishing as well as they’d hoped at the Phillip Island endurance round in September due to a misfire in the engine that started on lap seven. Despite that, the car continued running, albeit not at peak pace, for the entire 113 lap race.
“The team’s sorted the car, so you just get on and focus on your next race. For me, that’s been about continuing to push hard with my fitness as the main thing I can do to benefit my race preparation. Bathurst can have varied weather — if it’s hot, then your own fitness and ability to endure the heat are vital elements of your preparation.”
McIntyre says he and van Gisbergen want to win. “It’s that simple. We want to win Bathurst and together with the team we’ll develop a game plan in the day or so before the race on Sunday 10 October.”
McIntyre left New Zealand yesterday to meet up with SBR in Sydney before heading to the famous Mt Panorama circuit in the New South Wales town of Bathurst.
The team has three practice sessions on Thursday, two practice sessions and a qualifying session on Friday, another practice and the top ten shootout on Saturday before Sunday’s 1000 km race starting at 10:30am, Australian time.
Photo Credit: Stone Brothers Racing