It was a coin toss that determined who would drive the ...
It was a coin toss that determined who would drive the #9 IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Falcon in today's qualifying sessions after van Gisbergen and Davison's times and data in the days earlier practice sessions were too close to call. Van Gisbergen came up trumps when team boss Ross Stone flicked the coin, Shane was more than happy to take on the role of securing a top ten spot in tomorrow's shootout for Sundays Bathurst 1000.
On the other side of the garage it was an abrupt end to the day for car #4 when John McIntyre failed to make it past the first elimination leg of qualifying due to issues with the roll bar. Teammate, Daniel Gaunt finished his first Fujistu race in 3rd place after a blinding start from 6th position on the grid.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #9
"It was really good at the start of qualifying, I just pushed on and got into a good rhythm with the car. There was a red flag and we came in to put another set of tyres on and they seemed pretty hooked up and then I did a 2:07.3 which made us quickest so I was pretty excited about that. We then parked the car as we were sitting comfortably inside the top twenty.
"In the next session I just wasn't able to get a whole lap together, the balance wasn't quite the same as the track had gripped up, there was traffic and I made a few mistakes. We know the car is strong and we are in the ten tomorrow so we have a good chance to get back up the top again.
"I was lucky winning the coin toss but I know if Alex was in the car he would have done just as good a job."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #9
"I just wasn't quick enough to call best out of three when the coin landed in favor of Shane, but in all honesty we had a pretty close to perfect day on track, we were both setting good lap times so it wasn't an easy call for the team to make. We both ran really well in practice and up until the last qualifying session we hadn't been outside the top five all weekend so far.
"Shane did an awesome lap in the first session of qualifying but wasn't quite able to get back there in the second, it was more than enough to get in the top which is the main thing. Tomorrow I am more than happy to cheer Shane on from the sidelines!"
John McIntyre - Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #4
"I was pretty gutted actually, I was just working into it and we weren't really happy with the car, a change we made this morning didn't really work. With seven minutes to go in the first session I ran wide at McPhillamy and it broke the right hand side anti roll bar blade so it felt like I had a flat tyre. We came in to check it and then the boys sent me back out and we all thought, great we have five minutes left to break into the twenty.
"In the end I came in because I felt it was unsafe and then we found the issue with the roll bar. This place is so unforgiving so if you feel something is wrong there is no point in pushing it to the point where it's all over."
"It's a real shame because I know we had the potential to be around about 15th or 16th and I know both Daniel and I felt that we deserved to be inside the top twenty. That's the way things go, we are happy with the speed of the car, I'm just looking forward to the rest of the weekend."
Daniel Gaunt - Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #4
"I guess the day was pretty short in the #4 car for me with the red flag in the first session. I am happy with the overall result from John, we were unlucky there with the roll bar breaking but qualifying 21st is alright, we can work with that.
"In my Fujistu Series race I was pretty nervous going in but to come away with 3rd in the first race was great, all the mileage that I am getting is contributing to my overall weekend with SBR in car #4.
"There was certainly pressure on the entire race, I had guys in my tail the 14 laps. Every lap I do here I'm learning more so to hold them off and still keep composed is promising for Sunday."
The IRWIN/SP Tools Racing FG Falcons will be on track for tomorrow's 60-minute practice session at 10:00am followed by the top ten shoot out starting at 3:45pm.
Gaunt will be aiming to build on today's result in tomorrow's final Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series race at 2:10pm.