SBR BRUISED BUT NOT BEATEN IN ADELAIDE Stone Brothers Racing were unable to reach their full potential in Race 1 of the Clipsal 500 today when Shane van Gisbergen crossed the finishing line 5 laps down and Wilson Security Racing's Tim Slade fell...
SBR BRUISED BUT NOT BEATEN IN ADELAIDE
Stone Brothers Racing were unable to reach their full potential in Race 1 of the Clipsal 500 today when Shane van Gisbergen crossed the finishing line 5 laps down and Wilson Security Racing's Tim Slade fell victim to the concrete barriers early in the race. The incident left Slade unable to finish the 78 lap race in front of his home crowd. IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison was the teams signing light managing to finish the 250km race in 11th after starting 23rd on the grid.
This morning qualifying saw SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen take part in his third Top Ten Shootout for the season. The #9 FG Falcon was hot on the pace during the flying lap but van Gisbergen made a slight error in the final sector of the track and was to start the race from 9th. Tim Slade and Alex Davison both were unable to put a clean lap together on clear track and finished the Qualifying session 21st and 23rd.
On Lap 13 of the race Tim Slade caused the first Safety Car period when he made contact with the wall at the treacherous Turn 8. The damage sustained meant the car was unable to continue, fortunately Slade was not hurt in the incident.
As the #47 Wilson Security Racing Falcon was retrieved from the circuit Pit Lane quickly turned into chaos with over half the field opting to make their first compulsory pit stop. SBR stuck to their original strategy and opted to keep both cars out, with the plan of only having to make two stops rather than three throughout the race.
The trend continued during the race with many choosing to take the gamble and pit for fuel under Safety Car periods.
On lap 41 van Gisbergen was sitting in 3rd and hustling HRT's Garth Tander heading into turn 1 when he made contact with the tyre bundle upon exit. The contact was enough to break the pin in the suspension leaving van Gisbergen left to limp the car back to pit lane for an unscheduled pit stop.
Luckily a Safety Car was deployed on the same lap for a separate incident enabling the SBR team to savour as many laps as possible while repairs were made. The #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon re-entered the race 4 laps down and in 22nd position, which is where van Gisbergen remained to the chequered flag.
After Alex Davison's final pit stop the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon was looking good to be sitting 3rd on track until another Safety Car was deployed and Davison was shuffled back to 12th at the restart. Davison put in a solid drive all race and managed to make up another position in the final laps to finish 11th.
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"We are reasonably happy with where we finished considering our qualifying result. Tomorrow is a new day completely, we get to qualify all over again so hopefully we can make the car a little better and move forward in the second race.
"The last Safety Car came out one lap too early for us, it came out while we were in the pits so it hurt us but overall the guys did a great job with the strategy because it's difficult to make up that many spots on the track.
"It's a nice surprise how good I feel after the race, I feel brand new."
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"We had a good strategy, [Lee] Holdsworth was on the same one as us and ended up 3rd so we knew we had it right. I was right on Tander in 3rd positon, the car felt really quick and I just made a mistake.
"I hit the tyre bundle, I clipped it and it broke the top pin on the suspension, the boys did a great job to get it fixed and get me back out there, and we finished 4 laps down.
"I'm so disappointed, I'm really feeling for the guys, my mistake cost us potentially another podium.
"I feel fine, the cool suit was working great, I didn't push hard for the last half of the race so I don't feel tired at all."
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"Obviously I am extremely disappointed with what happened in the race. We had good pace at the race start and I just simply made a mistake.
"This place is extremely unforgiving if you do make an error, I turned in a little bit too wide and got loose on the dirty stuff at Turn 8 and that was it for me in the race.
"You quickly run out of road when you go sideways into Turn 8 so unfortunately due to my error tonight the boys have a bit of work to do.
"I am sorry for the team, they prepared a great race car for me so tomorrow I will be looking to make it up to them."
The V8 Supercars will take to the track for Race 2 of the Clipsal 500 tomorrow at 2:05pm after qualifying at 10:30am.