VAN GISBERGEN IN THE THICK OF THE ACTION AT EASTERN CREEK Shane Van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools ...
VAN GISBERGEN IN THE THICK OF THE ACTION AT EASTERN CREEK
Shane Van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools #9 Ford Falcon) was in the thick of the action in all three V8 Supercar races at the second round of the 2008 series over the weekend.
And after a dream 2008 series debut at the Clipsal 500 meeting at Adelaide last month the 18-year-old Kiwi young gun found out first hand how hard it can be to make headway in what is one of the world's toughest tin-top motor racing series.
After a standout performance which saw him qualify 10th quickest Van Gisbergen ended up 18th in the first race after being bundled off the track on the last lap while lying 14th by Holden driver Paul Morris.
Then in the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning he struggled with brake problems which saw him run off the circuit in the first lap, pit for repairs then resume five laps down and be classified 18th at the flag.
That meant he had to start the final race from the back row of the grid and as if that wasn't bad enough the young Kiwi copped a drive-through for exceeding the speed limit in pit lane at his compulsory stop.
Teammate James Courtney, driving the JELD-WEN Motorsport Ford Falcon looked good for a possible podium finish after a fifth place finish in the first race. But like Van Gisbergen he ran into turbulence on Sunday.
A great start in race two saw him move from fifth to third. However Courtney was quickly passed by Mark Winterbottom and Russell Ingall in the early laps as he struggled with lack of turn in the JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon.
A problematic wheel nut extended the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver's pit stop on lap six, dropping him to 17th position.
Things then went from bad to worse after the compulsory pit stop as Courtney struggled to find the speed he had the previous day, and was unable to improve on 15th position.
Courtney's day didn't improve in race three either, the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver taken out in a mid-pack incident on the first lap.
Commenting on his weekend Shane Van Gisbergen had this to say;
"It went backward pretty quickly today. In race two the pedal in the SP Tools Racing Falcon went long and I didn't have any brakes. We put new rotors on it which helped for a few laps but I ended up pumping the pedal for the whole race. It became a bit more predictable at the end so we were able to give it a got and put in a few good lap times.
"Then in race three I picked up about 10 positions in the opening laps but during my pit stop I ran in the wrong gear down pit lane and overran the limiter. We served our penalty then managed to sneak in a few passes after the last safety car restart to get back up to 17th.
"The results didn't show it this weekend but we have definitely made some progress and learned a lot."
The weekend's races were won by Garth Tander, Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom with the round going to Davison from Winterbottom, Tander and Rick Kelly and Ford's Jamie Whincup retaining his series points lead over Holden's Rick Kelly and Lee Holdsworth.
Shane Van Gisbergen was 19th overall for the round and is now 13th overall in the series points standings.