SvG SALVAGES SBR SHOCKER
Another brilliant drive by #9 SP Tools Racing pilot Shane van Gisbergen was the only highlight for Stone Brother’s Racing in race one at the Townsville street circuit this afternoon, with his team mates Alex Davison and Tim Slade suffering at the hands of mechanical failure in the 200km race.
SBR’s three Falcons struggled to hit their straps during qualifying earlier in the day, with Slade, van Gisbergen and Davison starting the 74-lap race in 20th, 22nd and 26th respectively – starting positions that ensured salvation would be a difficult task.
But van Gisbergen is never one to shy from a challenge and set about making amends after an early coming together set him back further. From dead last, van Gisbergen calculatingly moved through the field to eventually reclaim a place just shy of the top ten, and eventually crossed the in 11th place.
Van Gisbergen’s drive this afternoon gives the team promise for tomorrow, with his SBR Falcon responding positively to significant changes between the qualifying session and race. He also maintains his third placing on the Driver’s Championship points table.
There the good news for SBR today ended, with Slade’s race curtailed by a broken axle – the same ailment that claimed Davison’s #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon later in the race. Slade was knocked out of contention on lap 22 and Davison had his race shelved on lap 49.
The SBR Falcons will return to the Townsville street circuit tomorrow morning at 11.40am for their final 20-minute qualifying session ahead of race two at 3.35pm.
Shane van Gisbergen – Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
“We improved the car dramatically between qualifying and race, and after a great start made up about three places. All was feeling pretty good until I got turned around and sent back to last. That put us about five seconds down so I had plenty of ground to make up but thankfully the car was up to it. It really looked after its tyres well, but once again I find myself pretty frustrated that I’ve had to work so hard to finish where I did. We need to get the car working better and after today I think we’re pointing in the right direction.”
Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47
“A tough qualifying session was the first hurdle today. After a fairly conservative start I came together with another car and that pretty much summed up my day really. Not long after we broke an axle and once I got going again we were about 14 laps down. We’ll learn a few things once we have a debrief tonight that will help us get back in the running tomorrow.”
Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
“My disappointment is twofold. Firstly, we weren’t competitive enough. Clearly in qualifying we weren’t going as well as we would have liked. I had hoped it would be better in the race, but it wasn’t. We are still struggling badly with the handling of the IRWIN Ford. And secondly, we had a couple of mechanical problems that saw us parked in the garage. One of the drive shafts has failed and we had an electrical problem as well. It’s been a pretty disappointing day but we'll bounce back tomorrow and try to not only salvage a good result but maintain our position in the top ten of the championship.”