Surfers Paradise: SBR Saturday notes

VAN GISBERGEN TURNS LEMONS INTO LEMONADE AT SUPERGP Shane van Gisbergen turned yesterday's average qualifying result of 18th onto a top five finish in this morning's first 150km race at the Gold Coast Nikon SuperGP. The ...

VAN GISBERGEN TURNS LEMONS INTO LEMONADE AT SUPERGP

Shane van Gisbergen turned yesterday's average qualifying result of 18th onto a top five finish in this morning's first 150km race at the Gold Coast Nikon SuperGP. The #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon was hot on the pace around the streets of Surfers Paradise in tough conditions that saw van Gisbergen's helmet temperature reach as high as 34.6 degrees.

Managing to stay out of trouble and keep his nose clean, van Gisbergen made up 13 positions in the 34 lap race to finish 5th behind Craig Lowndes.

The IRWIN Racing Falcon also made gains in the first sprint race with Alex Davison recovering well after a slow pit stop to finish 16th.

As predicted there was plenty of biff and barge in the race with the first safety car period deployed on lap 1. Both Davison and van Gisbergen getting a great jump off the start line to sit 13th and 19th respectively at the end of the opening lap.

On lap 7 van Gisbergen was looking to make up more places but was stuck in a congested pack of cars.

"I think we should pit soon, to get me out of this traffic. I reckon this car has some serious pace so let's get some room in front of us and put it to good use." Shane van Gisbergen - Driver Radio (Lap 7)

Two laps later the SP Tools Racing Falcon entered pit lane for fuel and two rear tyres.

On Lap 15 Davison was called into pit under Safety Car when a tow truck entered the circuit to retrieve Fiore's car in the wall at turn 3.

The SBR pit stop crew fitted four new tyres to the IRWIN Racing Falcon but it became an effort to tighten the front right. The struggle cost Davison valuable time, re-entering the race in 20th position.

Van Gisbergen's confidence grew as he was hot on the tail of Craig Lowndes on lap 18.

"I'd love it if you guys could give me some noise over the radio." Shane van Gisbergen - Team Radio

"I love it when you drive like that!" Paul Forgie - Team Radio (Lap 18)

Two Safety Car periods later the race became a 6 lap sprint to the finish, van Gisbergen able to take advantage of a mistake made by Steven Richards on the final lap to cross the line in 5th. Davison recovered well to finish 16th.

The second race was a bit more of a battle for the SBR FG Falcons, with both cars finishing behind their starting positions.

Unlike the previous race all 34 laps ran uninterrupted without incident or a Safety Car period. Van Gisbergen's finishing position of 7th in the second race placed him 5th overall for the day, Davison's combined points resulted in 14th place overall at the conclusion of Race 1 Parts A and B.

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

"Obviously we had a great race this morning, the car was on song and I was having a great time out there making my way through the field.

"In the second race we struggled a little bit with pace. I had the car speed but I just couldn't get past Murphy. I made an error at the end, the brakes got hot and I slid off the road and lost a couple of seconds and Richards got past.

"It was great to be in the mix after yesterday, we're back in the top ten where SBR should be.

"I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow!"

Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

"It was a frustrating day, both races just felt like a bit of a struggle. I managed to make up some spots on the start of both races but once things settled down we just couldn't keep up and it was a fight all day."

-credit: sbr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Alex Davison , Shane van Gisbergen