SBR Falcons race into top ten at Sandown Stone Brothers Racing Falcons raced into the top ten in the opening race of the Midas 400 at Sandown International Motor Raceway today (Sunday June 8) the JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon placing sixth and the...
SBR Falcons race into top ten at Sandown
Stone Brothers Racing Falcons raced into the top ten in the opening race of the Midas 400 at Sandown International Motor Raceway today (Sunday June 8) the JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon placing sixth and the SP Tools Racing Falcon finishing in ninth position in the 39-lap race.
Both SBR Falcons recovered from a tough qualifying session this morning where JELD-WEN Motorsport 's James Courtney just missed the top ten, setting the 11th fastest time, and SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen forced to settle for 17th on the grid.
A strong start was essential and both Courtney and van Gisbergen were up to the task, the pair gaining two and three positions respectively on the opening lap.
The SBR pit crew provided seamless stops for both cars, enabling Courtney to emerge in eighth position and van Gisbergen in tenth.
As the compulsory pit stops played out, Courtney moved up to sixth position, moving away from Rick Kelly in seventh and gaining ground on Garth Tander in fifth. In the end, the JELD-WEN Motorsport driver ran out of laps to catch Tander, crossing the line in sixth.
Van Gisbergen looked settled in tenth until Lee Holdsworth hustled past him on lap 34. The young Kiwi driver settled in behind the Garry Rogers Motorsport car and waited for an opportunity to regain his position.
The chance came on lap 38 , when Mark Skaife made an error and in turn held up Holdsworth, giving van Gisbergen the opportunity to slide up the inside of both to claim ninth position.
Courtney and van Gisbergen will be on track again on tomorrow's Queen's Birthday public holiday (in Australia) at 12:15pm for race two, following by race three at 4:05pm.
James Courtney, #4, JELD-WEN Motorsport "We had a few issues with traffic in qualifying; it was pretty hard to find a clear lap.
"We made some changes to the car that we didn't like but with the way that qualifying is now, you don't have time to change back so we had t o make do with what we had.
"The JELD-WEN Falcon struggled early in the race but from the mid-point on the car was great and we were as fast as the guys in the lead and catching (Garth) Tander in front of us. We could have done with a few more laps to get him.
"The guys will work on the car overnight to try and improve it in the early part of the race so that we are strong over the whole 39 laps."
Shane van Gisbergen, #9, SP Tools Racing Falcon "We had a good race with a few guys today; (Lee) Holdsworth and (Mark) Skaife.
"So many of the cars in the field are so even and it is so competitive that it is hard to find a chance to pass.
"I had to sit and wait until Skaife and Holdsworth made a mistake and when they did I was able to dive up the inside and take them both.
"Once we got through the SP Tools car had the speed to keep ahead; it was good to get inside the ten.