Phillip Island 300: SBR Sunday notes

ANOTHER TOP TEN FINISH FOR VAN GISBERGEN AT THE ISLAND Shane van Gisbergen made his way into the top ten of the V8 Supercar Championship today after another brilliant drive at The Island 300. Van Gisbergen finished where he stared the 200km race...

ANOTHER TOP TEN FINISH FOR VAN GISBERGEN AT THE ISLAND

Shane van Gisbergen made his way into the top ten of the V8 Supercar Championship today after another brilliant drive at The Island 300. Van Gisbergen finished where he stared the 200km race after qualifying 6th in this morning's 20 minute session. Alex Davison also posted a strong result in today's double length feature amid stifling conditions finishing 12th from 15th position on the grid.

Van Gisbergen's race got interesting early when on the second lap he made contact with FPR's Mark Winterbottom while trying to pass for position at Turn 1. The incident resulted in Winterbottom standard in the sand trap and out of the race.

The Stone Brothers Racing team awaited word from the Race Stewards regarding a penalty but the incident was deemed too close to call.

On Lap 3 a Safety Car was deployed to retrieve the #5 Falcon when Winterbottom was forced to abandon it on the grid. At the restart van Gisbergen was up to 5th with Davison in 13th. On lap 13 the SP Tools Racing Falcon entered pit lane for two rear tyres and fuel. On exit the #9 car was forced to wait in the pit lane traffic while Steven Richards entered the FPR pit bay, the drama costing van Gisbergen four valuable positions.

On the following lap the IRWIN Racing Falcon entered the pits for two new tyres on the right hand side and fuel.

Just as the race began to settle into a rhythm the Safety Car entered the circuit for the second time on Lap 20 when Firore was buried in the sand trap at Honda Corner. On the same lap van Gisbergen entered pit lane for his second stop for four new tyres and fuel.

On the following lap Davison entered for the same treatment and re-entered the race in front of his teammate in 10th position.

At the half way point of the race van Gisbergen was showing incredible pace and matching the lap times of the leaders. During the following laps the #9 FG Falcon passed five cars to sit in 6th position where the SP Tools Racing Falcon remained for the completion of the race.

Davison made it as high as 9th but a small error made in the races dying stages cost him places, dropping back to 12th.

The Stone Brothers Racing Team will now return to the Gold Coast to begin preparations for the Barbagallo, Perth event on two weeks' time.

Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9

"At Turn 1 I got a big run on the outside of Mark [Winterbottom], he was struggling a bit, I don't know if his tyres weren't up to temp or what was going on but he didn't give me a lot of room. It's always a shame when someone comes out of a battle like that in the sand trap but it's one of those things, I was committed and couldn't back out.

"We were a bit unlucky in the pit stop, we got caught in traffic and it cost us a heap of time.

"The SP Tools Racing Falcon had incredible speed in the race, it died off a bit at the end there but I managed to make up a plenty of positions in the last 15 laps.

"I would have loved another top 5 finish, but sixth is pretty close. It's an excellent weekend for the team, we have jumped two spots in the series points and it feels great to be inside the top ten!

"A podium is close....... we have improved on our qualifying and race results so it can't be too far away."

Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

"Today's race was pretty similar to yesterdays really, I got off to a good start and made up some spots, we had reasonable pace but I wasn't able to pass, the car wasn't looking after the tyres very well.

"At the end I ran off by myself after Lowndes had a lock up in front of me.....I guess you could say I went off in sympathy!"

Ross Stone - SBR Team Principal

"I don't go off luck very often but we had bad luck in the pit road when Shane got caught up in the traffic. He did a great job today, I am really proud of how he drove. He had good speed and good consistency all day and made a great recovery after the pit lane mess.

"Alex also had good speed in the race, at one stage with Bright in there we had three SBR cars in the top ten but there was a bit of a moment with Alex and a couple of other cars that cost him some spots but 12th is still a great effort.

"We can see that podium for Shane we just haven't been invited there yet! We will just keep doing what we're doing and I'm sure it will happen soon."

-credit: sbr

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Series Supercars
Drivers Alex Davison , Mark Winterbottom , Shane van Gisbergen , Ross Stone , Steven Richards , Phillip Island