SBR STAGE GREAT RECOVERY AT WINTON
After a mediocre qualifying session earlier today, Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) redeemed themselves with a solid first race performance at Winton Raceway this afternoon.
With their three drivers Alex Davison, Tim Slade and Shane van Gisbergen starting today’s 40-lap race from 13th, 14th and 24th respectively, it was expected to be a tough day for the Queensland-based team - but with some brilliant speed on-tap, the trio were able to make considerable ground on the competition in what was a closely fought race.
A great result for the team and our championship which I hope we can repeat tomorrow.
First home for SBR was Alex Davison in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon, who’s car showed no signs of the sluggish behaviour it exhibited on the soft tyre at Barbagallo a few weeks ago. Obviously armed with a better set-up this weekend, Davison was one of the quickest drivers in the field – which coupled with a lightning fast pitstop by the SBR crew – saw him make up seven places over the duration of the race to cross the line in sixth place.
Across the garage in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon, Shane van Gisbergen had a mammoth task ahead of him today after starting the race towards the rear of the grid in 24th place. But this was no deterrent to van Gisbergen who also had one of the day’s fastest cars at his disposal. After a skirmish with some back-markers on the opening lap, van Gisbergen’s day looked like it really was doomed, with him having to make an unscheduled stop to replace his damaged front splitter. Thankfully the deployment of the Safety Car allowed him to stop not once, but twice and remain on the lead lap. From there it was pure van Gisbergen aggression, and he made the most of his soft tyre to carve his way through the field - making up no less than ten positions to eventually cross the line in 14th place.
Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon was hot on the tail of van Gisbergen in the closing stages, and after beginning the race in 17th place held on to finish 15th. Slade’s day was a tough one, with several places lost in the opening lap after being forced off the track by overzealous competitors. He then endured a pitstop problem which cost him further track position, but Slade though wasn’t one to give up and fought back to finish two places above his starting position.
Buoyed with their race pace, the team will now concentrate on perfecting their qualifying set up in preparation for tomorrow’s 20-minute session at 10.05am, which is followed by the second and final race for the weekend at 1.05pm.
Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
“You couldn’t compare today’s car to the one I drove at Barbagallo a few weeks ago. Today it was a different beast and really looked after its tyres well. Mindful of tyre-life I didn’t push too hard because I knew I could reel them back in which is what I did. I buggered up a move on Tander that I could have done a lot better which cost me a few spots, but in the end we had the speed to get those places back. A great result for the team and our championship which I hope we can repeat tomorrow.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
“I was taken out by someone at the start and had to make a couple of stops for running repairs which I thought was pretty much going to ruin my day. That contact left me with some bent steering which made it pretty awful to drive but we managed to push on. The car had plenty of speed and looked after its tyres well so we were able to remain competitive and get the job done.”
Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47
“Qualifying where we did hurt our chances today of a better result but didn’t reflect our true speed. I made a great start but then got caught up in a few dramas which cost me, and then we fell further back after something went wrong in our stop. But we recovered well and battled on to salvage 15th. Today’s speed was promising though and I’m looking forward to going better tomorrow.”