BITTERSWEET FINISH FOR SBR IN DARWIN It's been a bittersweet finish to the Skycity Triple Crown weekend in Darwin today (Sunday) with Shane van Gisbergen scoring another podium crossing the finish line in 3rd. The race ended with mixed emotions...
BITTERSWEET FINISH FOR SBR IN DARWIN
It's been a bittersweet finish to the Skycity Triple Crown weekend in Darwin today (Sunday) with Shane van Gisbergen scoring another podium crossing the finish line in 3rd. The race ended with mixed emotions when Alex Davison posted a DNF due to a mysterious electrical issue after leading the race and starting from pole position on the grid. Tim Slade's speed continued in Race 14 finishing inside the top ten, crossing the line in 6th place for the second time this weekend.
The IRWIN Racing Falcon lead the race from the green light with Davison streaking away on soft tyres and controlling the race for 37 laps until Jamie Whincup made his move at the first turn. It was on lap 48 when the electrical problem arrived with Alex alerting his engineer, David Stuart that the car had suddenly stopped and then restarted.
On the same lap Davison pulled the #4 car into pit lane and managed to roll back to the SBR pit box but was unable to rejoin the race when the car stopped and refused to restart.
In what looks like the start of resurgence for Stone Brothers Racing this weekend has seen Tim Slade's first career Top Ten Shootout and Alex Davison's first ever Pole Position.
Shane van Gisbergen's podium finishes have also enabled him to remain fourth in the Championship standings behind series leader James Courtney, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"We had a good strategy in the race. I was falling back at the start of the race to all the guys on the soft tyre but we knew when we made the change to softs at the end we were in with a good show.
"On the soft tyres we had great pace and I had heaps of fun coming though the field and passing all the guys on the hard tyres.
"The whole team has been awesome this week, all three cars have been so strong and it's been really good to see all three of us up there, the team are just loving it.
"I was pretty gutted for Alex when I made my last stop and saw he was out of the race, it was great to see him get pole position today and Tim has really stepped up.
"This weekend has been a great way to bounce back from the disappointment at Winton, I was really having fun out there today."
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"This weekend was great, we shouldn't have been back in 14th during qualifying but Karl Reindler certainly didn't help the cause when I was on a new tyre run he decided to start another flying lap, he went and I got a big gap and the he stuffed it up and then slowed down and decided to start his second flying lap a couple of car lengths in front of my second flying lap.
"In the race the car wasn't fantastic in the first stint but the guys tuned it up for the second after a great pit stop. I had good pace in the middle stint of the race on the hard tyre and then when we put the softs on I didn't really push too hard and I just sort of starting banging away at it like I did in Winton.
"It all paid off and we can go to Townsville very happy with where we are at."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"The car simply stopped, it was something electrical. We couldn't pin point what it was. It stopped once, then started and then it stopped for good.
"Luckily we rolled back to the pits which meant I didn't have to walk back. It's pretty shattering, we haven't had a mechanical problem all year and of course the one race where we're running so strongly it decides to pack up.
"I'm shattered for myself and I'm disappointed for everyone in the team. The guys have worked so hard, I was really hoping that I could give them a bit of a present today.
"It was nice being out in front, I was pretty comfortable, I was keeping it straight and trying not to torture my tyres. We made them last well which is something we haven't been able to do often this year. Only Jamie Whincup had better pace and better tyre life than us.
"In the second stint he was quicker when our tyres were worn, but the car felt strong. I was confident that we could have raced through to the end, the podium was looking good. There are plenty of positives; we just couldn't get the result.
"It want all bad though, I was stunned to get pole today. I was so happy for everyone. We've had some pretty disappointing days this year; it was a great reward for the team, for IRWIN and Ford."
Ross Stone - SBR Team Principal
"It's been a dream weekend for the team this weekend. I have mixed emotions because Alex, after being on pole today and running so strong in the race and with no mistakes I was especially disappointed for him when something electrical has just gone wrong and shut everything down.
"We aren't exactly sure what it is because half an hour later it's all okay again.
"Another great job by Shane, we had a good solid strategy for car #9 and I have kept saying to Shane if we just keep going for podiums soon we will have a car that is really on the money and he will win a race and probably do it easy. There is no hurry with him, the object is to hang in there in the points and he is doing that so we are really pleased.
"I'm so proud of my little mate Sladey, it's good for the whole team having Sladedog up there because he has a really good driving style and it's good to be able to compare how the three cars are setup. It wasn't a surprise to see him make such a giant leap this weekend because if you follow it closely he was doing a really good job at QLD Raceway and was let down by and engine problem and finished 7th in Winton. He is now showing his true potential."
The Stone Brothers Racing Team will now head back to the Gold Coast to begin preparations for the Sucrogen Townsville 400 July 9 - 11.
-source: stone brothers racing