SBR Take Third Place At Grand Prix Event
Topping off a great weekend at the Australian Grand Prix V8 Supercar event, Shane van Gisbergen and his #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon took home the third place trophy for Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) after today’s third and final race at the Albert Park circuit.
Van Gisbergen secured a place on the podium after another calculated drive from the 21 year old, keeping his cool when other drivers around him preferred to use muscle tactics to pass rather than speed. After starting the race from ninth on the grid, van Gisbergen fought hard with those in front of him, gradually picking them off to cross the line in fourth place.
A massive shunt on the opening lap claimed the scalps of Craig Lowndes, Rick Kelly, Steve Johnson, Warren Luff and David Reynolds, requiring the Safety Car to be dispatched. This played into the hands of van Gisbergen and Tim Slade who started on the hard “control’ tyre, but ruined any chance of #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon pilot Alex Davison of fighting for a race win with him having to pit in the late stages of the race for fuel. It was a blow to Davison who led for most of the race and posted the second fastest lap time of the race. Davison’s late stop saw him slide from first to cross the line back in 20th place.
Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon was always going to have a tough day ahead of him, with Stewards penalising him 40 seconds on yesterday’s result for making contact with Warren Luff in race two. Originally to start in seventh position, the penalty moved Slade down the grid to start in 21st position. From there Slade put his head down and used the new found speed to his advantage, climbing 14 places to finish in 7th place.
The SBR Falcons now head across the Tasman to New Zealand where the V8 Supercar Championship continues at the Hamilton 400 on April 15.
Shane van Gisbergen – Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
“I’m pretty happy to be here today but it’s unfortunate Alex isn’t on the podium here with me. He had a great weekend too but his strategy starting on the soft tyre was mucked up by the Safety Car. Everything turned out ok for me after I made a shocking start as we had pretty good pace. The car was a little hard on its tyres and there was plenty going on out there in the way of contact and carry on but it was quite entertaining to be amongst it actually – everyone raced hard but fairly and we gave each other plenty of room. To be on the podium again after our run at Clipsal is promising so I’m really looking forward to heading to my home track Hamilton in a couple of weeks.”
Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47
“As a whole the weekend was really frustrating for me. Every time we hit the track we had one of the fastest cars out there but things just didn’t fall our way. In that last race, we probably pitted a little too late which cost me a lot of track position and I probably pegged it back a bit so I could bring home a straight car. There was plenty of carnage out there and plenty of bent cars which is pretty crazy considering it’s a non-Championship event. Our car speed was good though and I did manage to pick a few off but in the end we ran out of laps and finished seventh.”
Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
“Starting on softs, we knew that if there was a Safety Car we’d be in trouble, but the call was made based on the lack of Safety Cars in the two previous races, and alas there was one so that ruined our day. On a positive note though, the car improved again today and we were able to hold off Whincup for most of the race which was pretty good. He only started to climb over me late in the stint when my tyres started to go off – his car looked after its tyres a lot better so that’s something we’ll have a look at next week but we definitely made improvements over the course of the weekend. The car was really strong and to be disappointed with fourth overall for the weekend I can take.”