TOUGH MELBOURNE RACE & MEETING FOR VAN GISBERGEN SP Tools Racing's Shane Van Gisbergen battled throughout the final V8 Supercar series Manufacturer's Challenge race at Melbourne's Albert Park on Sunday, struggling with car balance from the ...
TOUGH MELBOURNE RACE & MEETING FOR VAN GISBERGEN
SP Tools Racing's Shane Van Gisbergen battled throughout the final V8 Supercar series Manufacturer's Challenge race at Melbourne's Albert Park on Sunday, struggling with car balance from the start.
The 18-year-old Kiwi started from 18th on the grid and moved up as far as 14th by lap five. However as the race went on, the hot conditions compounded his problems, with brakes and tyres becoming an issue, the SP Tools Racing #9 Ford Falcon slipping back in the closing laps of the race to cross the line in 19 position, which is where Van Gisbergen finished overall.
"I'm pretty gutted about that race," the young Kiwi gun said afterwards."We ran out of brakes in the heat and we used our best tyres in race two so I spent most of the race just trying to stay on track.
"I was fighting the car all the way, the last 10 laps I was concentrating on bringing it home. It's probably one of the hardest races I've had to do.
"I'm just looking forward to Hamilton now. We've got a good break so we can regroup and look at the last two weekends' racing and be on it in a few weeks."
Stone Brothers Racing teammate James Courtney, driving the JELD-WEN Motorsport #4 Ford Falcon, had a better run, finishing the third and final race in seventh position.
Courtney had a tough first and second day at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit but improved in the final two races to claim points and finish 13th for the meeting.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport driver started from tenth position on the grid and moved up one position as Mark Winterbottom retired from the race, claiming another as Jamie Whincup also dropped out.
Courtney then knuckled down mid-race with constantly improving lap times to catch the group in front, passing Andrew Jones on lap 11 to greet the chequered flag in seventh position.
Commenting on the race and meeting he said:
"We had a tough first couple of days here but the last two days we have improved. In the end we had a couple of positive races and we have come away with a good straight car which we can now concentrate on making faster.
"We struggled with front braking performance in the heat today and the engine temperatures were up so we spent a bit of time looking for cool air. But everyone out there was in the same boat.
"We'll head back to the SBR workshop and evaluate the car situation; Jimmy Stone didn't come down for this race as he was concentrating on getting the new car on line. We might squeeze it in before Hamilton otherwise we will have it for Barbagallo.
"Regardless, we will have a good strong car for the next round at Hamilton, the JELD-WEN crew are looking forward to getting back on track."
The SP Tools Racing and JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcons will travel to New Zealand for round three of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Hamilton in four weeks time, 18-20 April 2008.
Shane Van Gisbergen competes with the personal support and assistance of the Team 97 Racing group comprising New Zealand companies Baron Leathergoods NZ Ltd, Pro Floors Ltd, TParts Ltd and the Sierra Motor Company.