Abu Dhabi: Shane van Gisbergen race 1 report

SIXTH PLACE AND NEW LAP RECORD FOR VAN GISBERGEN Shane van Gisbergen got his 2010 V8 Supercar campaign off to a strong start at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi last night setting a new category lap record on his way to a sixth place finish...

SIXTH PLACE AND NEW LAP RECORD FOR VAN GISBERGEN

Shane van Gisbergen got his 2010 V8 Supercar campaign off to a strong start at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi last night setting a new category lap record on his way to a sixth place finish in the first race of the season.

Earlier in the day (Friday) the 20-year-old SP Tools-backed Stone Brothers Racing Ford driver followed up his quickest lap time in practice on Thursday with the third fastest lap time in qualifying behind Holden drivers Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander then was ninth fastest in the Top Ten Shootout.

That put he and Stone Brothers Racing teammate Alex Davison on the fourth row of the grid for Friday evening's 43-lap day/night race however any hope van Gisbergen had of a top three race finish went out the window after an early race incident which dropped him back to 19th place.

Undeterred, the young Kiwi put his head down and put in the drive of the race to work his way up to sixth place at the flag.

Shane van Gisbergen -- Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9

"The car was a little bent after the incident but we still had good speed so for the rest of the race I just tried to pass as many cars as I could. I got a reasonable start in the race but pretty much got beaten up on the first lap. At the end of the straight I was hit from behind and I was just a bowling ball into everyone else so I ended up 19th. In the last stint though the car was great so we really pushed it, we set the fastest lap of the race, the lap record, and I as able to make up a lot of places."

And what about Qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout?

"The car was really good in qualifying this afternoon, so we made it into the shootout but for my flying lap we had the tyre pressures mixed up a little bit and the balance of the car wasn't quite right so we didn't nail it there."

The first race of the weekend - over 200km - finished early Saturday morning New Zealand time. A second qualifying session will be held this evening NZ time and a second 200 km race over 43 laps of the Yas Marina circuit early Sunday morning NZ time.

The first race was won by series' defending champion and now Holden driver Jamie Whincup from Team Vodafone teammate Craig Lowndes and Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom. James Courtney was fourth, Lee Holdsworth fifth and van Gisbergen sixth.

-source: shane van gisbergen

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Alex Davison , Mark Winterbottom , Shane van Gisbergen