SBR on the move in the top end Stone Brothers Racing drivers were on the move in race one at the SKYCITY Triple Crown this afternoon, with JELD-WEN Motorsport's James Courtney rounding out the top ten and SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen ...
SBR on the move in the top end
Stone Brothers Racing drivers were on the move in race one at the SKYCITY Triple Crown this afternoon, with JELD-WEN Motorsport's James Courtney rounding out the top ten and SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen finishing in 12th.
Van Gisbergen made an exceptional recovery from a disappointing qualifying session where under-steer and a failed shift cut made hard work for the 19-year-old, placing him in 22nd position on the grid.
The SP Tools Racing driver had a steady start, picking up three positions in the opening laps. A lightening quick stop by the SBR pit crew on lap seven gave van Gisbergen the advantage he needed to make his way to 13th.
Van Gisbergen hustled Mark Skaife for a number of laps before the HRT driver slid off the track with a flat tyre leaving the way clear for the SP Tools Racing Falcon to cross the line in 12th place.
Courtney had a more sedate race, starting from 11th position. The JELD-WEN Motorsport driver was disappointed to miss the top ten in qualifying, pipped by just one-one hundredth of a second by Garth Tander in the dying seconds of leg two.
In a hectic first lap, Courtney slipped to 12th position. A quick pit stop on lap 10 saw the JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon pick up a spot from Skaife, placing Courtney in tenth position on the road.
The closing stages of the 42-lap race were a battle for the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver, who suffered a cool suit failure on lap five of the race. Courtney overcame the heat to hold on to tenth position at the chequered flag.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport and SP Tools Racing Falcons will take to the track at 11:30am tomorrow for race two, followed by the final race at 3:00pm.
James Courtney, #4, JELD-WEN Motorsport
"The JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon was fast today but not the car we needed to pass with. This track is very tough to pass on and the races can become processional.
"I had a cool suit failure early on in the race today. It makes things a lot more uncomfortable. We were getting readings of 58 degrees in the car so it is not pleasant.
"But that's why we train hard so we can handle situations like this when they happen.
"We now have a good idea of what the cars around us are capable of, their strengths and weaknesses. We have good gro unds to work on things for tomorrow."
Shane van Gisbergen, #9, SP Tools Racing
"We had a good start to the race today but I got pushed out at the first corner so we lost what we had gained.
"The SP Tools Falcon was really good and we made up places early.
"Once I got behind Skaife I didn't have enough to pass. This track is not great for passing but we tried our hardest and made up some spots so it was good. Ten places from 22nd is pretty satisfying.
"We found the tyres went away quickly after the pit stop. It seems to be a characteristic of these new tyres and everyone will be experiencing the same thing. We will learn from that and be ready for it tomorrow."