THE BUILD UP TO BATHURST Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen and endurance race teammate John McIntyre spearhead Stone Brothers Racing's driver lineup heading into this year's Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000, the pair arriving in Bathurst yesterday to ...
THE BUILD UP TO BATHURST
Kiwis Shane van Gisbergen and endurance race teammate John McIntyre spearhead Stone Brothers Racing's driver lineup heading into this year's Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000, the pair arriving in Bathurst yesterday to prepare for 'The Great Race' on Sunday.
After a stellar year behind the wheel of the #9 SP Tools Ford Falcon young gun van Gisbergen lies fifth in the series points standings with he and McIntyre coming off a strong qualifying showing at last month's L & H 500 at Phillip Island.
This year's edition of 'The Great Race' will be van Gisbergen's fourth, the now 21-year-old making his first start - with McIntyre as well - in 2007 behind the wheel of the Stone Brothers Racing-run TKR Ford Falcon.
Since then van Gisbergen has been behind the wheel of a Stone Brothers car, with Jonathan Webb in 2008 and current teammate Alex Davidson in 2009.
In both cases van Gisbergen showed both pace and consistency only to see any chance of a top ten finish go out the window with incidents on the track when he was not in the car.
This year he arrived in Bathurst yesterday after an 11 hour drive from his Australian base on the Gold Coast and from today the business of contesting the annual jewel in the crown of Australia'a V8 Supercar championship begins.
"We've got a fair bit of promotional work, both for SP Tools and V8 Supercars today, then I'll walk the track later on this afternoon before getting into it proper tomorrow," he said last night. "I've spent quite a bit of time of late going over data from the last few years and looking for bits where I can improve so I'm really looking forward to getting back on the track."
Heading into this weekend's race round the daunting 6.213km Mt Panorama track at Bathurst, the V8 Supercar championship is being led by James Courtney from defending series champion Jamie Whincup with Mark Winterbottom third, Craig Lowndes fourth and van Gisbergen fifth.
After practice on Thursday and Friday morning, qualifying will be held on Friday afternoon with the Top 10 Shootout on Saturday, leaving Sunday for the race with the warm-up starting at 8.00am and the race itself at 10.30am, the distance 161 laps or one lap after 5.45pm.