COIN TOSS DECIDES QUALIFIER FOR IRWIN/SP TOOLS FORD AT BATHURST IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Team Directors Jimmy and Ross Stone had to revert to a good old-fashioned coin toss to decide which driver would take the wheel in the lead ...
COIN TOSS DECIDES QUALIFIER FOR IRWIN/SP TOOLS FORD AT BATHURST
IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Team Directors Jimmy and Ross Stone had to revert to a good old-fashioned coin toss to decide which driver would take the wheel in the lead #9 Ford Falcon entry at this afternoon's qualifying session for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Both Alex Davison and Shane van Gisbergen had been so evenly matched over the five separate practice sessions that team management felt a coin toss was the fairest way to decide who got the job this afternoon.
Van Gisbergen called correctly and he took the wheel and in the first segment set the fastest time of the 32 entries. With the focus being to solidify a spot in the top-10 and qualify for tomorrow's shootout, van Gisbergen parked the IRWIN/SP Tools Falcon in the pits with six minutes remaining. He will be the fourth car on the road in tomorrow's one-lap dash to set the first five rows for Sunday's 'Great Race'.
The #4 IRWIN/SP Tools Racing entry of Daniel Gaunt and John McIntyre will start 21st after a broken front-right anti-rollbar broke midway through the opening qualifying session. IRWIN Racing's Daniel Gaunt (who is making his V8 race debut at Bathurst) also finished third in the opening 14-lap race of the Fujitsu V8 Series.
What Alex Davison had to say:
"The coin toss showed that both Shane and I are very evenly matched and have equal status in the IRWIN/SP Tools Racing team. We were both very keen to have the crack at qualifying and there is nothing more fair than flipping a coin to decide who was going to drive this afternoon. Shane did a great job in both qualifying sessions and we are very well set-up for the shootout tomorrow and more importantly the race on Sunday. It has been a positive two days with both Shane and I being in or around the top five. We will now work towards the race, but give the shootout a good crack as well. Overall only very minor improvements are required as we I are very happy with the package we have got this weekend."
What Daniel Gaunt had to say:
"The broken anti-roll bar is only a minor disappointment and we can really focus our attention now on the race. Both John and I have improved our times throughout the weekend and one more practice ahead of the race should have us primed for Sunday. The other bonus has been that we have not used too much of our tyre bank and that can prove to be a big advantage in the run to the chequered flag. It has been a good day for me with third place in the Fujitsu Series race. I will have another one of those races tomorrow as well as the practice in the IRWIN/SP Tools car. Ironically both of the Fujitsu Series races combined will be one stint on Sunday. I will have at least three stints in the big race, but I'm up for it."
What Ross Stone had to say:
"Tossing the coin was the first we have ever had to do that. The management group sat down after this morning's practice and we felt that both Alex and Shane had done such a good job that it was the only fair way to decide who we put in the car this afternoon. The thing is both boys are obviously fast, but have also worked so well together to improve the car's speed this weekend. The #9 IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Ford is easy to drive, it is the fastest car in the field across the top of the Mountain and we can make it even better ahead of Sunday. With the #4 IRWIN/SP Tools car we broke a front-right anti-roll bar and John just missed the next segment of qualifying. Ironically those parts as well as the engine were to be changed tonight. As part of schedule we will have fresh running gear also be put into the #9 car as well ahead of the final 'happy hour' practice and the shootout."