SLADE SCORES TOP SIX AT SANDOWN
Wilson Security Racing's Tim Slade has managed to turn a tough couple of race meetings into a top ten finish taking 6th place in the second race of the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge today [Sunday]. Once again a red flag period interrupted the race, this time at the half way point, causing the race to be cut short by five laps. Race strategies kicked into gear when teams were able to work on the cars and opt to change tyres while on the grid before the restart.
It was car #47's risky strategy that paid off with Slade running the Wilson Security Falcon down to its last drop of fuel at the finish line.
It was a devastating end to van Gisbergen's race when the SP Tools Falcon broke a shock causing the car to make heavy contact with the wall after locking brakes on the second last lap. Van Gisbergen who started from pole position at the restart stoped for soft tyres and made a charge through the field from last to 8th place before the incident at the end of the back straight put an end to his day.
IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison was also set for strong finish but a mistake that caused the car to make contact with the wall at turn 4 dropped him back from 15th to 21st.
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"At the start of the race the car wasn't too bad but we managed to make it better for the second stint and it was really pacey on the hard tyre. It was definitely touch and go with fuel at the end there and we were mindful of that.
"Ultimately at the end I just didn't have the pace of the guys in the top four, I was hoping to hang onto to fifth place but Steven Johnson got me on the back straight on the last lap when my car ran out of fuel. It cut out for a bit and I thought I had Steve's measure but I grabbed first gear when we would normally use second and tried to slow him up and get a good run out but I just didn't have the traction to drag him off.
"We are thrilled with 6th, a top ten is always good for the points. I really need to thank everyone in the #47 crew, I think we changed and tried every shock and spring SBR have ever built in the car over the weekend. It also came down to a great strategy by Wes and good stops by the pit crew."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"It's been a long weekend, I'm pretty shattered, we worked pretty hard over the three days to make some gains but never really got there.
"The red flag didn't help us. When the race stopped everyone was needing to do another pit stop for fuel, so we weren't at a disadvantage, but when the race was shortened it meant most of the cars were close and maybe didn't need to stop. We decided not to take the gamble and pitted again.
"I just want to put this weekend behind me and look forward to Sydney now."
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"Obviously a really disappointing end to the weekend, we took a gamble with the strategy and in hindsight might have been better off changing to soft tyres on the grid before the restart but I would have been happy to finish 8th considering where we qualified.
"I was having heaps of fun passing all those cars and then I just felt something in the car break. The brakes locked up and I was in the wall, I was fine after the incident but I'm sure I will be sore tomorrow."
SBR will now head back to the Gold Coast to begin preparations for the Sydney Telstra 500 Championship finale.