SBR SCORE VALUABLE POINTS IN TASSIE
After a 50-lap sprint at Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania, Stone Brothers Racing’s (SBR) drivers Alex Davison, Tim Slade and Shane van Gisbergen all produced results this afternoon that see them either maintain or improve on their V8 Supercar Championship standings.
Alex Davison in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon was the first of SBR’s cars across the line today in sixth place. Davison started the 120km race in seventh place, and the combination of a great pitstop by the SBR crew and a timely Safety Car period allowed Davison to jump a place up the order – securing his ninth place in the Championship while increasing the gap to those behind him.
Davison’s SBR team mate Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon was next home for SBR, finishing right behind Davison in seventh place. It was a disappointing end to the race for van Gisbergen who on lap 32 locked a rear wheel under brakes – causing him to slide from third place back to seventh. Van Gisbergen was in a strong position before his mistake and was looking a certainty for a podium finish as those behind him had only changed two rear tyres as opposed to van Gisbergen’s four. Sadly there was nothing he could do in the closing laps other than nurse his wounded machine home to salvage enough points to keep him in third place on the Championship ladder.
Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon was the big mover for SBR today, making up four places from a starting position of 16th to come home in 12th place – no easy feat around this tight 2.4km circuit. A combination of a great pitstop and calculated driving by Slade scored him valuable Championship points today, and he now moves into 11th place on the ladder - just five points shy of a spot in the top ten.
The SBR Falcons will return to the Symmons Plains circuit tomorrow afternoon at 12.30pm for another 20-minute qualifying session before the second and final 200km race at 3.35pm.
Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
“It was a good day out, very solid. We had a pretty good clean race. Luckily we got into a bit of a rhythm in both stints. I managed to drop the guys behind me, which meant I didn't have to worry about them. I hung on to the lead group as well - a few times we got right up close to them but we didn't quite have the pace to battle with them . At the end I got right on to them when they were battling, but I was struggling with a fair bit of brake fade, so I couldn’t do much about trying to overtake them. The IRWIN Falcon is pretty good; it doesn't take much around here to really move up or down the grid, hopefully if we can qualify well again tomorrow we can get another good result.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
“I’m really disappointed with today for myself but more so the Team. We had a good position and were going alright and looking good for a strong finish but a small mistake cost us. With the rears hurting after the lock-up I just had to nurse it home and hold my position.”
Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47
“I made a really good start and picked up a place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with outright pace when the tyres were fresh – but at the same time I had really good rear-wheel grip so I didn’t panic too much and just cruised hoping I would be able to get back anyone who passed me later in the race - which did happen as our tyre life was much better. Without speaking to Wes (his engineer) yet I’m a bit puzzled and not super-confident for tomorrow’s qualifying – we have a great race car but we need to make it better for qualifying which we’ll do tonight. 11th place in the Championship now and just five points off (Jason) Bright in tenth which is good – we’ll keep pushing.”