SBR endures a wicked Winton Stone Brothers Racing has endured a wicked weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, fighting back from a slow start to be in top five contention this afternoon only to suffer a malfunction during a pit stop in today's final...
SBR endures a wicked Winton
Stone Brothers Racing has endured a wicked weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, fighting back from a slow start to be in top five contention this afternoon only to suffer a malfunction during a pit stop in today's final race.
JELD-WEN Motorsport's James Courtney put in two gritty performances today, hanging on to ninth position in race two to give himself a chance of clawing back furt her positions in the third and final race.
The strategy was playing out as planned for the JELD-WEN Motorsport crew in race three, with Courtney leaving his compulsory pit stop until lap 20, able to use the clear track and clean air to gain ground on his early-stopping rivals.
Courtney was on song to emerge in a top five position following his stop until a rear wheel came loose as he exited his pit bay, forcing the JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon to stop in pit lane and be dragged back to the SBR pit garage.
After the problem was rectified, Courtney continued on in the 40-lap race, serving a drive-through penalty for the loose wheel crossing the fast lane, eventually finishing in 25th position and claiming 11th for the round.
SP Tools Racing's Shane van Gisbergen didn't fare much better than his team-mate, his weekend coming unstuck in race two as he served two drive-through penalties.
Van Gisbergen had worked his way into the top ten in tod ay's first race before completing his compulsory pit stop on lap 20.
The SP Tools Racing driver had a clean stop and rejoined the race in heavy traffic. In the busy conditions, Van Gisbergen inadvertently crossed the yellow line as he emerged from pit lane and was penalized with a drive-through penalty.
The SP Tools Falcon dropped back to 19th position with more bad news to come, van Gisbergen receiving a second drive-through penalty just two laps from the end of the race for short-cutting the circuit.
Van Gisbergen started race three from 22nd on the grid, keeping under the radar for most of the race to work his way up to 12th position at the chequered flag, finishing 16th for the round.
This weekend's challenging round has seen Courtney drop back to eighth in the V8 Supercar Championship and van Gisbergen back to 13th.
Stone Brothers Racing is fifth in the teams championship.
The JELD-WEN Motorsport and SP Tools Racing Falcons now move to the endurance rounds of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the first at Phillip Island on 12-14 September 2008.
In the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, Jonathon Webb finished fifth for the round, cementing fourth position in the series standings.
James Courtney, #4, JELD-WEN Motorsport
"The JELD-WEN Motorsport Falcon was much improved in our third race today; it was running really well.
"We had a good strategy; we had clean air and we were making good ground. Realistically we could have finished the round in the top five.
"But the wheel didn't go on properly in the stop and that was our race done.
"Unfortunately these things happen from time to time and it turned out to be what you would call a character building weekend."
Shane van Gisbergen, #9, SP Tools Racing
"We had a very average first race today. We got two drive-through penalties which was a shame because we had good speed all r ace.
"It was a combination of brain fade on my part and lots of things going on. When I came out of the pits there was a lot of traffic coming down and I knew we had to get out quick and I just wasn't thinking about the line.
"We had a better third race. We had to make the decision to pit early as I was being held up by Steven Johnson but it meant that we got off our best set of tyres and then struggled late in the race.
"I'm looking forward to the first of the enduros at Phillip Island. It was the track that I went best at last year and if we can put together a good car and I am driving well I think that Jonathon (Webb) and I will be a good combination."