EVENTFUL SECOND MELBOURNE RACE FOR VAN GISBERGEN SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen, was in the thick of the action in the second of three V8 Supercar races at the non-championship Manufacturer's Challenge round at the Australian F1GP meeting...
EVENTFUL SECOND MELBOURNE RACE FOR VAN GISBERGEN
SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen, was in the thick of the action in the second of three V8 Supercar races at the non-championship Manufacturer's Challenge round at the Australian F1GP meeting in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
The young Kiwi, who started the race from P12 on the grid, made a big save on the opening lap as the SP Tools Racing Falcon ventured onto the grass at turn 12, and was lucky to escape damage at turn 15 as he diced with Shane Price.
The SP Tools Racing driver settled after a frantic first lap, chipping away to move from 22nd to 17th position.
He looked set to hold position to the finish line too, only to lose four positions on the final lap as he was swamped by a group of cars pushing the SP Tools #9 Ford Falcon back to 21st position.
Commenting on the race, Van Gisbergen said;
"I made a mistake on the first lap and ran on the grass; so our good starting position went out the window. We struggled early in the race to find a balance on the roll bars with the SP Tools Falcon. I tried to get in a rhythm after going off but we were fighting at the back and we were never going to set the world on fire back there.
"I tried to make a few passing moves and we would pull something off and the next corner it would come unstuck. We were going backwards more than we were going forwards."
Meanwhile, Van Gisbergen's teammate James Courtney (JELD-WEN Motorsport Ford Falcon), bounced back after a tough day on Friday to finish 14th in race two of the V8 Supercars Manufacturers Challenge.
Courtney started Saturday's 15-lap race from 20th on the Ford versus Holden grid and entered an early battle for position with Fabian Coulthard.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport driver moved into 18th place before the safety car was deployed for Paul Dumbrell's incident on lap eight.
In 15th position when the race resumed four laps later, Courtney took advantage of the restart, moving into 14th position, where he stayed until the chequered flag.
"We had a good clean run today, " he said. "We just tried to stay out of trouble. "I didn't try to pass anyone for the first few laps; I just waited for everything to calm down and then slowly picked them off. Courtney and van Gisbergen will take to the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit for the third and final race of the V8 Supercars Manufacturers Challenge at 1:10pm tomorrow. 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.