THREE CARS IN THE TOP 15 FOR SBR IN TOWNSVILLE It was a tough race on the Townsville street circuit today (Saturday) with 72 laps taking its toll on the drivers in the opening race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400. Shane van Gisbergen was forced...
THREE CARS IN THE TOP 15 FOR SBR IN TOWNSVILLE
It was a tough race on the Townsville street circuit today (Saturday) with 72 laps taking its toll on the drivers in the opening race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400. Shane van Gisbergen was forced to make up for lost time twice after losing track position when trying to avoid an incident and overshooting the pit box during his first stop for tyres and fuel.
It wasn't all bad for the SP Tools Racing driver, managing to claw his way back up to third in the Championship points after finishing 8th in today's 200km race.
Tim Slade also improved on his Championship position jumping inside the top 15 after crossing the finish line in 12th, just ahead of teammate Alex Davison in 13th.
In this morning's qualifying Shane van Gisbergen progressed to the shootout but a bad tyre strategy saw him start the race from 9th position on the gird.
In the race van Gisbergen fought his way back inside the top ten after dealing with some dodgy driving from HRT's Will Davison. Van Gisbergen kept his cool and passed two laps later rubbing doors with Davison in a fight for 13th. As the laps unfolded van Gisbergen pressed on, making his final pit stop before passing Paul Dumbrell and Steven Richards to cross the line in 8th.
Wilson Security Racing's Tim Slade also had to deal with some desperate moves when Jonathon Webb caused grief in the mid-field. Slade kept his head down and soon closed up on the battle pack ahead charging onto 12th at the chequered flag.
IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison held onto the tail of his teammate finishing right behind Slade in 13th.
Shane van Gisbergen - Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
"I got pushed around a fair bit at the start, a couple of laps in Courtney and his teammate came together and I had to go the long way around and fell back a fair bit.
"Speed wise we were matching it with the group in front and we caught them but no one was making it easy to get passed and there was a fair bit going on.
"I mucked up in the first pit stop by overshooting the mark so I was left to do it all over again on the track and make up for time lost.
"It was a tough race physically, I have been sick all week and the race really took it out of me.
"Will [Davison] was driving like a stock car racer, trying to chop me off when I was putting it in the gaps. He just kept cutting me off so I think he got what he deserved really, I pushed him out wide and pulled away.
"It's great to be back up to 3rd in the points but a couple of guys behind have really closed the gap. But being back in third is a good feeling, we will be doing everything we can to stay there."
Tim Slade - Driver, Wilson Security Racing Car #47
"It was a very very tough race, just because you have so many right hand long corners so it's a lot of load on your body. I have pulled up pretty sore in my lower back and my foot is sore from braking.
"It was all on at the start, we moved up a couple of positions and then lost some, I'm not exactly sure where we were position wise at that point. Then I settled into a good rhythm and worked with Wes on making the car better during every pit stop.
"It's great that we have moved up to 15th in the points. As I've said to plenty of people it was great to finish so high up in Darwin but we can't lose sight of our goals and for this year it is to finish in the top 15 overall. Whenever we finish a race inside the top 15 I'm happy especially at this track, being a street circuit and I don't have the best record on street circuits."
Alex Davison - Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
"We changed the car between qualifying and the race and probably went the wrong way and didn't make the right change. That being said in the race we managed to improve it quite a bit and the car came on really strong at the end.
"You learn a lot when you make bad calls with setup so we know not to make that change again.
"It wasn't bad in the end, I think we did well to end up 13th."