Gutsy comeback for SBR in final Darwin race Stone Brothers Racing drivers have made a gutsy comeback in the third and final race at round six of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin this afternoon after taking a battering in race two...
Gutsy comeback for SBR in final Darwin race
Stone Brothers Racing drivers have made a gutsy comeback in the third and final race at round six of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin this afternoon after taking a battering in race two this morning.
SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen recovered to take ninth for the round, closely followed in the points by team-mate JELD-WEN Motorsport's James Courtney in tenth.
Courtney produced a brilliant drive in race three to take seventh position after starting from a lowly 24th on the grid.
Race two was forgettable for Courtney, the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver looked certain to hold on to eighth position until he lost the rear end of his SBR Falcon and slid into the tyre wall at turn eight two laps from the chequered flag. Courtney was able to finish the race, but dropped to 24th position.
Courtney was in need of a clever strategy in race three and he got one, the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver holding off on his compulsory pit stop until lap 25, providing him with a clear track to pump out consistently fast lap times and make ground on the rival pack.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon rejoined the 42-lap race in tenth position, Courtney passing team-mate Shane van Gisbergen the following lap to claim ninth.
Following the safety car period on lap 30, Courtney made a move on Jamie Whincup for eighth and picked up one more positio n when Craig Lowndes retired from the race on the final lap suffering an engine problem.
Like his team-mate, SP Tools Racing's van Gisbergen was also showing good form in race two until he made contact with Will Davison at the hairpin, turning the number 18 Falcon around. The resulting drive-through penalty saw the SP Tools Racing driver drop from eighth position down to 23rd.
In the closing laps of the race, van Gisbergen was able to push on and pick up seven positions to finish in 16th place.
Race three produced a hectic start and van Gisbergen slid to 20th place on the opening lap but he quickly put his head down to regain three positions before his compulsory pit stop on lap eight.
Van Gisbergen pushed hard following his stop, a swag of passing moves earning him ninth place by lap 26. The young Kiwi relinquished only one position to team-mate Courtney, dropping to tenth before crossing the line in ninth position as he benefited from Lowndes0xd82f0xfffd retirement.
Both Courtney and van Gisbergen retain their positions in the V8 Supercar Championship standings, seventh and eleventh respectively. Stone Brothers Racing remains in fourth position in the teams championship.
Stone Brothers Racing will next race at their 'home' event in two weeks time when round seven of the V8 Supercar Championship Series returns to Queensland Raceway, 18-20 July 2008.
James Courtney, #4, JELD-WEN Motorsport "It was good to finish the weekend on a positive note with a really solid race.
"The JELD-WEN Falcon was quite a handful at the start of the second race today but we ran around and worked our way into the race and got inside the top ten.
"With two laps to go I lost the rear at turn eight and there was no getting it back.
"In the last race the JELD-WEN Falcon was fantastic, easily the best it's been all weekend. It was great to find that cha nge that made the difference and have some success with it.
"We were down on power in the last race with an engine problem from lap eight onwards so to have the pace that we did despite that shows that we really got on top of the car at the end.
"We have some good knowledge now of the tyre after the third race as well and we will have some good direction at Queensland Raceway."
Shane van Gisbergen, #9, SP Tools Racing "It was a weekend full of ups and downs but in every race we had very good pace and we were able to pass a lot of cars.
"The handling and balance of the SP Tools Racing Falcon was good this weekend and the brakes were really strong when following other cars, they didn't fade.
"The incident with Will (Davison) today was one of those things in racing; he moved over and I wasn't far enough up. I went and apologised to him after the race as it affected both our races.
"We will have a new car at Queensland Raceway, James' car from Clipsal, so we will be focusing on that in the next week and we hope that we can improve even further."