Shane van Gisbergen currently sits inside the top 10.
Shane van Gisbergen currently sits inside the top 10. Getty Images Sport - Robert Cianflone

Kiwi trio eye V8 Supercar success

AN UPBEAT Kiwi motor sport trio will go into battle with the Aussies in the second stop for the V8 Supercars Championship in Tasmania this weekend.

After early success at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, both Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen sit inside the top 10 in the Australian-dominated touring car series, as they eye next month's ITM400 in Hamilton.

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"With the whole process of changing from team to team, the results have come a bit sooner than what I had expected," said Coulthard.

"There are 29 other blokes who want to win each race as well, though, so it's very competitive. It's one of the toughest championships in the world so it's never going to be easy."

The New Zealand pair added to their success at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne two weeks later. Van Gisbergen won the final race and Coulthard rounded out the podium in the same event.

"We have a strong car and a great environment so I just need to drive my best and we'll see what unfolds in Tasmania," said van Gisbergen.

"I don't like to go into races with expectations because it just makes you so down when you don't meet them so, if I go out there and have a good time, then hopefully I'll have a good race and be happy when I get out of the car.

"Standing on the podium would be great though."

Meanwhile, Greg Murphy bounced back from a horror opening round smash in Adelaide to pilot his Commodore to some credible results at the Grand Prix - highlighted by a top 10 finish in race three.

"What I love about racing is the days when you're in there and you're doing the job that you know you can do, and you're in control of the car and things go to plan," he said.

Murphy is a former round winner of the Tasmania Challenge at the Symmons Plains circuit and would love nothing more than to kickstart his 2012 campaign with a successful weekend.

"To say you want to podium at every race is a bit ridiculous because it's very difficult to achieve but if we can be more consistently inside the top 10, well that's a pretty good year," he said.

The Symmons Plains track near Launceston always brings a share of drama and close racing, but the trio are looking not only to extend their strong start to the season but avoid any major issues ahead of the New Zealand round on April 20-22.

"I did well in Hamilton in the first year and being the last time there next month, I would love nothing more than to have a really strong performance there," said Coulthard.

"To do that in front of my home crowd would be fantastic."