POSITIVE START FOR SBR AT THE ISLAND Van Gisbergen finished 5th today in the first race at The Island 300 after an incident involving Lowndes and Todd Kelly helped him move up two places in the dying stages of the race. It was a positive day ...
POSITIVE START FOR SBR AT THE ISLAND
Van Gisbergen finished 5th today in the first race at The Island 300 after an incident involving Lowndes and Todd Kelly helped him move up two places in the dying stages of the race. It was a positive day overall for the SP Tools Racing Falcon with van Gisbergen qualifying 4th to make it into the Top Ten Shootout.
The #9 FG started the race from the fourth row after van Gisbergen posted the 8th fastest flying lap. Alex Davison also improved on his qualifying effort racing the #4 IRWIN Falcon up four places to finish the day in 11th.
The field was shuffled on the first lap of the race when pole-sitter Jason Bright made contact with Todd Kelly at turn one. Davison got a great start off the line and moved into 11th position after starting 15th. Van Gisbergen, not getting a good start fell back two places on the opening lap sitting 10th, just in front of his teammate.
On Lap 6 van Gisbergen reported over team radio that he was struggling with traction in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon and opted to pit on the following lap for rear tyres and fuel. Two laps later Davison also pitted for rear tyres and fuel.
On Lap 15 van Gisbergen was up to 7th and in a fierce battle with Holden's Garth Tander before Craig Lowndes and Todd Kelly made contact on Turn 2 causing the races only Safety Car period.
The remaining four laps after the restart ran incident free with both Davison and van Gisbergen unable to make any further gains on the congested field.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"In the race I didn't really get a good start but I managed to make up some spots before our pit stop.
"We were obviously helped out a bit there in the end with cars going off but we put good pressure on Tander and I really enjoyed the race.
"Because we didn't run our new tyres we have two sets for tomorrow so hopefully we can come home strong in the double length race."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"I had a good start in the race and made up some spots on the first lap but I struggled a bit with balance and oversteer so by the end of the first stint I had Courtney all over me and we had to pit.
"After the stop I wasn't really able to move forward, but overall 11th is great result for Wes and the boys."
Ross Stone - SBR Team Principal
"In qualifying Shane drove really well, for the shootout lap we decided to run old tyres. In hindsight maybe we should have gone with new ones but it's one of those things once you've committed to it you go with it.
"I was really pleased to see Shane finish 5th. He deserves it and the team deserves it. A result like that is certainly nothing to sneeze at when you're racing at a track like this and Shane was in very good company with the front runners there.
"We are determined to get a podium with him before the end of the year.
"Alex finishing the day in 11th just topped the day off nicely."