A SHOT AT REDEMPTION The Sky City Triple Crown dished out some cruel blows today when Alex Davison lost an engine four laps onto the first part of Qualifying. His Teammate, Shane van Gisbergen didn't fare much better starting on the grid in 23rd...
A SHOT AT REDEMPTION
The Sky City Triple Crown dished out some cruel blows today when Alex Davison lost an engine four laps onto the first part of Qualifying. His Teammate, Shane van Gisbergen didn't fare much better starting on the grid in 23rd after failing to record a lap quick enough to make it into the next elimination leg.
The IRWIN Racing Falcon remained stationary on the side of the track for the rest of Qualifying, on its return the SBR crew worked rigorously to change the engine over in preparation for the race.
The tracks temperature was at 46 degrees on the starting grid with the first seven cars fitted with ‘sprint' tyres. The decision for SBR to use hards tyres only in today's race was made in order to keep them in reserve for tomorrow's double length feature.
On the first lap Shane was forced out wide after Jack Perkins made contact with him at turn 1. The early incident saw Shane drop back to last place and forced Perkins to retire from the race. Davison's efforts moved him up five places before the first car of the field pitted on lap 5.
The IRWIN Falcon made its way down Pit Lane on Lap 18 for two new rear tyres and fuel, one lap later the SP Tools Falcon stopped for the same combination, Shane re-entered the race behind Alex in 27th.
The following laps remained free of Safety Car interruption and at the chequered flag Alex and Shane crossed the line 19th and 20th.
The 35 lap race was called short by one lap due to Channel 7 telecast scheduling.
Teammates, Alex Davison and Shane van Gisbergen in Race 1 at Hidden Valley
Alex Davison suits up to get in the IRWIN Falcon for Qualifying
The SP Tools Falcon on the Hidden Valley circuit
Wes McDougall talks strategy with Alex before the race Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"There is not much to say about today really other than it was pretty frustrating and disappointing for the team. The up side is we have brand new soft tyres for tomorrow and we were able to watch and see what they were capable of in today's race.
"We did all we could today on hard tyres, our pit stop went well and the new engine didn't miss a beat during the race."
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Car #9
"We thought in qualifying we would be really strong because we were good here yesterday on fresh tyres. When we went out we picked up a whole lot of understeer, the track had changed quite a lot over night. It was the first time we didn't make it into the top twenty with no problems which was a real shame.
"We continued to struggle in the race with understeer and couldn't tune it out with the bars or the break bias so we just drove around the back the whole race.
"I am confident we can come back from this and make good use of the soft tyres tomorrow."
Ross Stone - SBR Team Principal
"After having such a strong performance yesterday to qualify badly with Shane and lose an engine in Alex's car was pretty devastating. One of the things that keeps you going in racing is there is always tomorrow, we have fresh sets of tyres for both cars in qualifying and the soft tyres that we know will give us a 1.8 to 2 second a lap advantage."