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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Norton 360 Sandown Challenge


Stone Brothers Racing
August 2, 2009

Shane van Gisbergen copped another cruel blow to his championship points tally today when he was forced to retire from Race 2 on the second lap of the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge. The SP Tools Racing Falcon was unable to press on after early contact with Michael Patrizi, van Gisbergen reported to the team he would enter pit lane for repairs but from that point on both the car and Shane remained in SBR’s garage.

IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison suffered after a gamble that was made on soft tyres didn’t pay off. The race became a constant struggle for Davison as he remained stranded on soft tyres that quickly died off in the mid-stages of the race.

In this morning’s Qualifying van Gisbergen was unable to improve on his shootout effort from yesterday starting the race from 24th, Davison didn’t fare much better staring on the grid in 18th after failing to record a lap time quick enough during the 20 minute session.

At the race start Davison was on a brand new set of soft tyres and was making good ground to move up to 15th before the first Safety Car period was called on Lap 5. On the restart the IRWIN Racing Falcon had moved up another place before Craig Lowndes ran up the back of the #4 FG Falcon forcing Alex off the track. The incident cost Davison dearly dropping him back to 22nd when on Lap 9 a second Safety Car period was deployed to retrieve Mark McNally stranded at turn 4.

On the restart Alex was called into pit on Lap 17 for four new hard tyres and 50 litres of fuel. Davison made good use of his new rubber and moved up to 17th before a third Safety Car period went underway on Lap 29. Having only raced on the hard tyres for 14 laps the SBR Crew decided to call in the IRIWN Falcon for its final stop, changing back onto the soft tyres when another Safety Car was called on Lap 37.

The planned sprint to the finish proved to be too long for the IRWIN Racing Falcon with 34 laps left to go to run on the used soft tyres. Davison fought hard to hold position toward the end of the race, making it as high as 11th place, but struggled for grip as the tyres died off finishing the race in 21st place.

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