VAN GISBERGEN'S RISE CONTINUES Shane Van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools ...
VAN GISBERGEN'S RISE CONTINUES
Shane Van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools #9 Ford Falcon) continued to impress at the second round of the 2008 V8 Supercar series across the Tasman qualifying 10th and finishing the first race of the weekend in 18th position.
He could quite easily have finished even further up the order too had Holden driver Paul Morris not barged his way past, sending Van Gisbergen's # ( SP Tools Racing Ford Falcon into a spin on the last lap.
Fortunately the young Kiwi was able to recover and heads into \the second and third races tomorrow in a positive frame of mind.
"It was great to be in the top ten in qualifying today. It's the first time I have been up that far. We had a reasonable race. We lost a few spots at the start but we had pretty good speed and we were able to keep with the group.
"I had an off on our in lap for the pit stop. We lost some time and I exited the pits into a group of cars that we had speed on so we didn't get the best out of our tyres.
"We got the SP Tools Falcon back into 14th position but I was served up by (Paul) Morris on the last lap at turn nine. He tried to make a gap that wasn't there and spun me off the track.
"We will work hard again tomorrow and try to break back into the top ten."
Van Gisbergen's teammate James Courtney also had a productive day.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport driver started from seventh on the grid and made a cracking start to pick up fifth position on the opening lap, leap-frogging Mark Skaife and Cameron McConville.
He pitted on lap six for two rear tyres and reclaimed fifth place after a clean stop. Five laps later, however, the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver reported problems with the front roll bar and was unable to adjust the number four BF Ford Falcon for the remainder of the race.
Team Principal Ross Stone was very pleased with both results, commenting;
"SBR made an excellent recovery today in qualifying following practice yesterday.
"For Shane to have his first top ten was superb. I was hoping he would be in the mix for a top ten towards the end of the season so to do it on a circuit that is new to him was great.
"The SP Tools and JELD-WEN guys were able to improve the cars slightly between qualifying and the race.
"Shane had a solid race and should probably have been 14th if he had not been turned around by (Paul) Morris. The incident is being investigated so we will wait to hear on that.
He's clocking up points and learning to race with some very good drivers, both in front and behind him.
"James did a great job as always, hanging in for fifth in the JELD-WEN car which was pretty tough to drive late in the race.
"He's grabbed some good points and provided some great feedback to make improvements to the cars tomorrow."
Courtney and van Gisbergen will be back on track tomorrow for the final day of racing at Eastern Creek. Race two commences at 11:40am followed by race three at 4:00pm.