VAN GISBERGEN SECOND IN SHOOTOUT, FIFTH IN FIRST BAHRAIN RACE SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen continues to raise the bar with his early season performances in this year's V8 Supercar championship, setting the second quickest lap time in...
VAN GISBERGEN SECOND IN SHOOTOUT, FIFTH IN FIRST BAHRAIN RACE
SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen continues to raise the bar with his early season performances in this year's V8 Supercar championship, setting the second quickest lap time in the Top Ten Shootout before finishing fifth in the first race at the second series round in Bahrain this morning (NZ time).
The 20-year-old Kiwi put in a sensational lap in the Top Ten Shootout on Friday afternoon, one only bettered by the last driver to run, defending series champion and round one winner Jamie Whincup.
The result saw van Gisbergen join Whincup on the front row of the grid then log another top six race finish, the latter an equally impressive achievement given the problems the Stone Brothers Racing team are having with their tyres on the hot, abrasive Bahrain International Circuit surface.
At the start of the race van Gisbergen was third going into the first corner after FPR's Mark Winterbottom got the jump at the green light. It was in the pit stops that positions were lost but the rapid wear on the tyres didn't help with the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon unable to maintain the same pace as the race leaders.
Shane van Gisbergen -- Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"Winterbottom got me on the start and I managed to hang in there with him for the first five or so laps but then the tyres went off so much and his didn't. Most of the guys around me were in the same boat but the cars ahead were just really good on their tyres.
"We were four seconds a lap slower and were doing 11s at one point which made it pretty hard, considering I qualified with a 2:04 so that's a massive difference. It felt like I was on ice out there.
"The car is obviously good in qualifying so we have no problems there we just need to make sure it looks after its tyres better, we were not far off the fastest lap in the race but we need to work on carrying that speed over the whole race."
And that Top Ten Shootout lap?
"It was great to get my first front row start, great for SP Tools and SBR. The track changed so much between the qualifying and shootout sessions, but we made a couple of changes between the sessions and that helped us. It's been a great start to the season but it's the team that has stepped up, I'm just the last piece of the puzzle. They worked so hard over the off-season and made some great developments to the car."