Kiwi young gun Shane van Gisbergen was the toast of the Stone Brothers Racing team at Ipswich's Queensland International Raceway yesterday afternoon (Tuesday Feb 09) after claiming both the fastest lap and a new lap record at the first official V8 Supercar test session of the season at the track.

The test was the only chance the top Queensland-based teams had of putting their new cars (and in some cases new car/driver combinations) through their paces before the upcoming season opener in the Middle East and 20-year-old Auckland-born, now Queensland-based van Gisbergen was the pace-setter in the #9 SP Tools Falcon across a range of track and weather conditions.

It was a confidence-boosting performance for van Gisbergen and one he was justifiably proud of.

"We got a car balance we were pretty happy with in the morning, " he explained, "then when we put on a new set of tyres like most of the others did in the afternoon we were straight to the top."

That said, he sounded a warning about reading too much into the achievement, stressing that the real 'test' will come at the races this season.

"It's always nice to be quickest but you don't get any trophies for a test day; we are holding out for the first race at Abu Dhabi and that's where it all matters."

In claiming the top time at the test van Gisbergen was comfortably quicker than fellow Ford driver James Courtney, veteran Russell Ingall in the first of the Holden Commodores, and a four-car Ford pack consisting of Jonathan Webb, Dean Fiore, Steven Johnson and Alex Davidson.

The Stone Brothers Racing team now has four days to pack for the flight direct to Abu Dhabi with cars then set to hit the track on Thursday 18 February at the Yas Marina circuit.

-source: svg