TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS FOR SBR IN SYDNEY
Stone Brothers Racing had a frustrating day on track at the hard-hitting Sydney Telstra 500 today when yet another potential podium finish for van Gisbergen went begging at the races half way point. The SP Tools Racing Falcon managed to avoid damage in a racing incident and battled on for the remaining laps, making a decent recovery to finish 10th.
Alex Davison's day was over early thanks to a bent wishbone on the front left hand side of the IRWIN Racing Falcon. After sitting in the garage for over 20 laps Davison re-entered the track and used the rest of the afternoon as a test session to prepare for tomorrow's 250km race.
Sitting in 4th position after his second stop for tyres and fuel van Gisbergen was left with nowhere to go when McConville went into the tyre wall at Turn 8, the SP Tools Racing Falcon followed and although van Gisbergen managed to avoid contact with the jammed car the incident cost him valuable time and track positions.
Further down pit lane the SBR prepared FG Falcon driven by Jason Bright crossed the line in 3rd place after 74 action packed laps on the new Sydney Olympic Park street circuit.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"We qualified badly, it wasn't for any particular reason, the car felt good I just didn't have the speed over the kerbs.
"In the race the car was good and looked after its tyres well. In the first half of the race we made up some good ground and we had a great strategy in place as well.
"After our second stop we ended up coming out about third position behind James [Courtney] then McConville went wide when James passed him and went into the fence and I was left with nowhere to go. I elected to hit the fence instead of hitting him, I backed up and by then we were way back, the incident ruined our race.
"We were looking pretty strong so it's pretty gut wrenching to think where we could have been.
"The way the car handled the race today is encouraging, we can definitely be back up there tomorrow fighting for a podium."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"Obviously today was disappointing. We got a good start, I couldn't see the lights so Wes had to tell me over the radio when to get off the line, so I owe Wes for that one.
"We were faster than the cars in front of us but it's a pretty hard place to pass cars around here.
"I could feel something was a bit loose on the left front corner and it was getting worse and worse, I was getting break pad knock off because of it, the brake pedal was going long.
"We pitted to check it out for safety reasons and then I went back out before the bolt in one of the wishbones fell out and sent us into the fence and that was when we came in and the race was over for us.
"Because we were so many laps down we just used the rest of the race as a test session, it was a good opportunity to try some different stuff with the roll bars and braking lines."
Ross Stone - SBR Team Principal
"Overall is a frustrating day because the #9 Falcon was quick enough to finish on the podium and unfortunately Shane got caught out by McConville touching the wall and he was either going to take him clean out or take evasive action which is what happened.
"The #4 car was probably one of the worst displays that SBR have ever put on, we qualified 24th, which is clearly just not good enough and then it had a couple of issues in the race so there is going to be some soul searching and some work tonight, we will see how we will come out tomorrow.
"It's a tough business and we have been in this sort of situation a few times before as every team has but we will come out boxing I'm sure.
"I am really proud of the car #25 boys today, they ran a great race and strategy and deserve the podium result!"