Good speed but no fortune in Tasmania
Round 13, Falken Tasmania Challenge, Symmons Plains, Tasmania
It was a weekend without fortune for SP Tools Racing Shane van Gisbergen and his team-mate James Courtney (JELD-WEN Motorsport) at the penultimate round of the V8 Supercar Championship in Tasmania today.
Both drivers found excellent speed but both suffered mishaps out of their control that thwarted their attempts to play a strong part in proceedings.
On Sunday there were high hopes for van Gisbergen who started fifth on the grid following his outstanding drive in the greasy conditions on Saturday.
However after charging up to fourth he suffered a fuel pump problem and was forced to withdraw, leaving him to come from the back of the grid for the final race.
He was making progress in race three but a drive through penalty negated his progress.
Courtney, the innocent victim in a collision on Saturday, drove through the field from the back of the grid to finish 17th in race two, showing excellent speed. He recorded the fifth fastest lap, a superb effort considering he was working his way through traffic for most of the race.
He made further ground to race up into the top 10 with a superb drive in the final race, setting the fastest lap time until near the very end of the race when the race leader and eventual winner Jamie Whincup edged him out.
The good speed by both drivers has given encouragement for a strong finish in the final round of the championship at Oran Park in two weeks time.
Shane van Gisbergen, #9, SP Tools Racing Falcon:
"We settled into a good rhythm in race two and were running in the top five easily. Then we had a fuel pressure problem and while we were able to switch to the reserve for a while we knew it wasn't going to last.
"We had good speed and good tyres for race three and we knew we could come through. I went to pass Marcus Marshall but he moved across on me. I couldn't stop and turned him around. And then was given a drive through penalty.
"We know we have the speed but we had some bad luck.
"I'm looking forward to Oran Park. It's my favourite circuit and where I made my debut last year. I'm pretty confident there. We've just got to put a full weekend together."
James Courtney, #4, JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon:
"Race two today was pretty good. We had a slight issue with the right rear tyre and lost 10 seconds there. And from there we got back up to 17th.
"The second one this afternoon was quite good. I had a good start and a good clean run the whole way through. We had good pace and were able to jump up quite a few spots. We had a good race so at least we leave here on a high.
"I'm excited about Oran Park. It's usually a good track for us. I got my first podium with SBR there in 2006. It's a good fun track and a good one to end the season with."