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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Clipsal 500


Stone Brothers Racing
March 21, 2009

Amid stifling conditions the SP Tools Racing Falcon lined up 11th on the grid for Race 1 at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today, while his team mate, Alex Davison, who qualified 26th in the IRWIN Racing Falcon started from pit lane. The strategic decision to start the #4 car from pit lane was to commence the race with a full tank of fuel.

David Stuart – Team Manager

“We took a gamble today with fuel and decided with Alex being towards the back of the grid we would start the #4 car from pit lane. The team felt that if the race was green until about the half way mark everyone would have to have two stops and I am pretty sure that if the safety car didn’t come out that would have been the case.

“We are really happy with the way both the guys raced, we have two straight cars which should give us an easy night tonight, and we are looking forward tomorrow.”

Van Gisbergen had good pace early in the race and by the end of lap 2 he had the SP Tools Racing Falcon into 7th position. Early safety car periods from separate incidents involving Michael Caruso and then Michael Patrizi virtually negated any strategic advantage gained by starting the IRWIN Racing Falcon from pit lane. Davison persisted with racing maturity through the back of the field avoiding a number of racing incidents and making good track position.

Ross Stone – Team Principal

“Alex showed how smart he is today as he was a bit heat stressed, to have your first Clipsal like that . . . he has been here before but never finished one. His right foot was quite sore from braking and he was a bit dehydrated so he is with the medical staff recovering now.”

After two outstanding pit-stops by the crew with both drivers taking on fuel and four new tyres, Shane on lap 40 and Alex on lap 43, the two SBR cars were destined for a strong finish. A third safety car was deployed on lap 43 before an incident on lap 54 saw FPR’s Mark Winterbottom and van Gisbergen come together at turn 4.

Paul Forgie – Race Engineer Car #9

“Winterbottom’s car was wounded so he left the door open, there was nothing Shane could do but get in the hole and he closed the door on him. There is not a mark on our car but obviously Winterbottom’s car came off a little worse.

“It was pretty hot out there today, Shane did a fantastic job hovering between 5th and 8th the whole race, we were really happy with the result and we will try and make the car better for Race 2. We got great fuel economy out of the SP Tools FG Ford Falcon and we can probably stop a little earlier tomorrow based on our fuel numbers from today so it’s all looking good for us.”

A late incident involving Craig Lowndes paved the way for Alex Davison to make it into the top 15 while Shane van Gisbergen crossed the line six places from where he started finishing in 6th position.

The extreme heat inside the cabin of the newly prepared #4 and #9 Ford FG Falcons resulted in both drivers succumbing to heat exhaustion at the end of the 250km race.

Shane van Gisbergen – Driver SP Tools Racing Car #9

“I ran out of water with 25 laps to go so I was pretty wrecked, I was fine until the chequered flag came out, the adrenalin stops and on the cool down lap I started cooking. When I got out the car I was really tired but during the race I was fine.”

Alex Davison was unavailable to comment as he was under the supervision of medical staff.

Race 2 of the Clipsal 500 starts at 2:35pm tomorrow.

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