SBR SURVIVES CLIPSAL SHENANIGANS
Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) finished today's first 250km race at the Clipsal 500 with a mixed bag of results after dodging the usual myriad of incidents that the year's toughest race is famous for.
First across the line for the Queensland-based outfit was #47 Lucky 7 racer Tim Slade. After a great start, Slade spent most of his race mid-field after hitting the wall at turn 14 early in proceedings, which subsequently relegated him back to 23rd place. From there, Slade pushed hard, and by halfway through the race - thanks to a great switch in strategy - was back up into 15th place.
On lap 59, Slade luckily escaped being cleaned up by an out-of-control James Moffat, who out-braked himself at turn nine. With no less than four Safety Cars to keep the Team's strategists busy, the game ultimately played out to Slade's advantage and his Lucky 7 Racing Falcon finished the first race of the weekend in eighth place.
Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon was second of the SBR trio home, eventually crossing the finish line in 13th place. It was a relatively uneventful race for van Gisbergen, who kept his nose clean from the usual Clipsal-carnage that surrounded him. Van Gisbergen's result today sees him maintain his third place on the Championship points table.
Alex Davison in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon fared worst of the three SBR racers, after he clipped the wall at the infamous 'turn eight' on the opening lap. After the necessary repairs were completed in the garage, Davison returned to the race in last place and five laps down. From there the flu-affected IRWIN driver's race was pretty much run, eventually coming home in 23rd place. It was a big blow to Davison who entered this weekend sitting second in the Championship points table, but now slides down two places to fourth.
Tim Slade - Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47
"I can thanks the Team today for getting me back into the race. I made a great start but then stuffed up at the last corner and to avoid taking out Webby (Jonathon Webb) I took evasive action but at the expense of the car. The boys did a great job on the pit stops though and the change in strategy from a three-stop to two stop helped us as well. The car wasn't the easiest to drive today but we'll go through the usual changes and make sure we're more competitive tomorrow."
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"We lost out today with the extended Safety Car period and tow-truck breakdown but other than that it was a fairly routine race. The car was a handful in the opening stint but as the race progressed we made some really positive changes which will give us a good direction to head for tomorrow's 250k."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"That was another tough day at the office. After making a mistake at turn eight on the opening lap I was out of the race straight up. We made some running repairs to keep me going for some points but the car was pretty well damaged and no fun to drive. I struggled with a terrible headache for the entire race and am hoping that when I wake up tomorrow I'm rid of this bug that's really knocked me around."