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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Norton 360 Sandown Challenge


Stone Brothers Racing
July 31, 2009

Alex Davison started the race weekend strong today, sitting comfortably inside the top five throughout Practice until dropping to 8th in the final minutes. Van Gisbergen was forced to retire from Practice after being involved in a high speed incident at turn 7 in the second session. A bit shaken after making contact with the armco, Shane escaped injury and after a routine check was cleared by the circuit’s medical centre.

Davison was in full form on the Sandown circuit placing the IRWIN Racing Falcon inside the top five early on in Practice.

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“We are really happy with the car today, we were strong from the outset and throughout all three sessions. We were consistently in the top five all day until the final moments. The car felt good straight out of the truck and we made very little changes throughout the day.

“Overall I would say that today is our best ever practice being that it’s the most competitive we have been all day on a Friday.

“I have experience at Sandown in Formula Ford and Porches’ so it was a bit easier that I didn’t have to spend time learning the circuit, I know all the braking points and lines of the track.

“It’s not going to be easy in qualifying tomorrow, the times are so close. We need to do the job tomorrow but we are definitely on track to start the race weekend strong.”

Van Gisbergen’s incident caused Part B of Practice to be red flagged while the SP Tools Racing Falcon was recovered and returned to Pit Lane.

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

“I was pushing hard and locked the right front tyre, the car went straight ahead and we ended up in the wall. I hurt my ribs a bit in the impact and feel a bit sore but otherwise all okay.

“The cars damage is actually not too bad, it’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. It went pretty high up into the air and when it landed some of the diff parts and the front wheel were damaged but it’s all fixable so we’ll be right for tomorrow.”

Van Gisbergen also sat out of Part A of Practice while John McIntyre drove the SP Tools Falcon as part of his enduro preparation.

John McIntyre – Co-Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9

“It’s always a bit of a shock getting back into these cars when you haven’t been in them for a while. It’s been nine weeks since my last go which really feels too long. It took me until the last stages of the session before I felt comfortable enough to push and then it ended.

“You almost get half way there and start thinking about tuning the car and then the session is over. I would have loved some more time in the car but we are really happy to be inside the top ten.

“I can’t wait for the test day, it will be me and Mr X driving around all day getting some more laps under our belt before we head to Phillip Island.”

Results – Practice Part A

1 18 Jim Beam Racing/Warren Luff 20 1:11.3485*
2 4 IRWIN Racing/Alex Davison 1:11.4414
3 6 Ford Performance Racing/Luke Youlden 1:11.6537
4 34 Garry Rogers Motorsport/Greg Ritter 1:11.6834
5 22 Toll Holden Racing Team/Steve Owen 1:11.6859
6 25 Fujitsu Racing/Jason Bright 1:11.8297
7 39 Supercheap Auto Racing/Paul Morris 1:11.9058
8 33 Garry Rogers Motorsport/David Besnard 1:12.0017
9 9 SP Tools Racing/John McIntyre 1:12.0326
10 51 Sprint Gas Racing/Mark Skaife 1:12.0516

Results – Practice Overall

1 5 Ford Performance Racing/Mark Winterbottom 1:10.2125*
2 1 TeamVodafone/Jamie 1:10.2217
3 22 Toll Holden Racing Team/Will Davison 1:10.2644
4 18 Jim Beam Racing/James Courtney 1:10.3419
5 111 Wilson Security Racing/Fabian Coulthard 1:10.4068
6 888 TeamVodafone/Craig Lowndes 1:10.4092
7 8 Team BOC/Jason Richards 1:10.4376
8 4 IRWIN Racing/Alex Davison 1:10.4446
9 33 Garry Rogers Motorsport/Lee Holdsworth 1:10.4938
10 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team/Tony D'Alberto 1:10.5123
25 9 SP Tools Racing/Shane Van Gisbergen 1:11.0609

The V8 Supercars will take to the track for Leg 1 of Qualifying tomorrow at 11:00am.

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