VAN GISBERGEN, 'THE COMEBACK KID' IN ADELAIDE It was an exhilarating end to Race 2 of the Clipsal 500 today with SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen just missing out on a podium finish to cross the line in 4thplace. Unlike yesterday, the 78...
VAN GISBERGEN, 'THE COMEBACK KID' IN ADELAIDE
It was an exhilarating end to Race 2 of the Clipsal 500 today with SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen just missing out on a podium finish to cross the line in 4thplace. Unlike yesterday, the 78 lap race ran without major incident, but was interrupted by a Safety Car period when the curb at Turn 8 started to deteriorate. The laps under caution were a god send for SBR who ran a risky fuel strategy that meant both van Gisbergen and Tim Slade were able to conserve enough fuel to make it to the end.
Twenty- year- old Shane van Gisbergen put in another incredible drive, hustling FPR's Mark Winterbottom for the last few laps of the race. The #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon was sitting in 5th place when Jamie Whincup was forced to serve a pit lane penalty for loose panel work, moving van Gisbergen up to 4th with just three laps to go.
For the closing laps van Gisbergen did all he could and was choosing his moment to pass Winterbottom carefully with the heated battle going right to the chequered flag. Van Gisbergen crossed the finish line 4th with just one litre of fuel left in the tank.
Paul Forgie - Car #9 Engineer (Team Radio)
"Well done mate, great comeback after yesterday, we just missed out on the podium but will be going home with good points. You might want to try and save some fuel on your in lap or you could be walking back!"
Wilson Security Racing's Tim Slade finished his first 250km race today after four starts at the Adelaide street circuit. After a disastrous end to Race 1, that saw Slade crash at Turn 8 the #47 car was as running strong today and sitting in 16th position until Craig Lowndes made contact with the back of the FG Falcon turning Slade around and onto the grass at Turn 14.
The following lap a call from Race Control demanding Lowndes to let the #47 car pass did little to help Slade recover after so much time was already lost. Slade raced on in tricky conditions as rain began to fall on Lap 65, Slade opted to be a little more conservative on the slippery track surface and finished the race 17th.
It was a nightmare day for IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison when on Lap 28 Davison reported that the cool suit unit had come loose in the car and was moving around the cabin. The SBR pit crew made an unscheduled stop to secure it in place but from that point on the cooling system did not work leaving Davison to struggle in temperatures of over 45 degrees for the remainder of the race.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"We were a bit up and down throughout the race in positions, the strategy we were running we needed a safety car in order to make it with fuel so when the track began to break up at turn 8 that definitely helped us and allowed us to race to end.
"Under safety car I was told to conserve as much fuel as possible which is what I did. When the race restarted I was trying to go fast but use less fuel so I was backing off a bit earlier than I normally would. Under safety car I was in sixth gear (2,000 revs) doing 40kms just trying to save fuel.
"At the end there I really pushed hard, it started to rain a bit which made it interesting and I had a little bit of pace over the guys in front, but Winterbottom got away from me when it started to dry out so I couldn't quite catch him.
"Fourth is a great comeback from yesterday, I wanted to get a podium for the guys but we didn't quite get there, we are really happy with the points haul."
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"I am happy I finished one! It's good to get that off my back.
"It was an interesting race, there was only one DNF so it was very different to yesterday's. I lost a couple of positions when Lowdnes hit me and turned me around. He readdressed that but it didn't really serve its purpose that good because I still lost two or three positions out of it.
"When it started to rain I played it on the cautious side, I didn't want to be the first one in the wall so I got hung out to dry there a bit and lost a couple of spots.
"We had good car speed especially in the middle stint, we just made it home with fuel like Shane [van Gisbergen] so the guys did a great job with the strategy."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"Quite early on the whole cool suit system broke loose in the car, it's quite heavy and it was smacking into me so we stopped to secure it but it didn't work for the rest of the race so I was just too wrecked heat wise.
"We stopped towards the end of the race to pull the windows out which helped a bit but I just couldn't press on hard enough, I was just too worn out."
The Stone Brothers Racing Team will now head back to the Gold Coast to begin preparations for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne (March 25 - 28).