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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000


Stone Brothers Racing
October 11, 2009

A potential podium was spoiled for SBR today when the teams luck ran out at the half way point of the race. Van Gisbergen and Davison were well in the hunt and sitting 5th when in wet weather conditions James Courtney made contact with the IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Falcon on lap 81, damaging the right rear hub of the #9 FG. Rising engine temperatures contributed to the already wounded #9 car but SBR’s series regulars maintained their composure and managed to finish the 1000km endurance event in 13th

Kiwis, John McIntyre and Daniel Gaunt also experienced a drama filled day on the mountain but completed the 161 laps in 19th place.

The weather played a massive part in the race with three periods of rain resulting in pit lane becoming congested on numerous occasions to make the change from wet weather tyres to slicks and back again.

The first driver change undertaken by Gaunt and McIntyre on lap 34 ran longer than planned when the elastic used to retract the seat belt got hooked costing the team an extra 15 seconds in Pit Lane.

After a strong stint from Alex Davison and another four Safety Car period’s later van Gisbergen was back in the driver seat and sitting in 1st place with a 12 second lead on lap 107, McIntyre was comfortable in 14th.

The pit stop dramas were to continue for SBR when Davison was left trying to restart the car after van Gisbergen accidentally hit the master switch, turning the car off when exiting the driver’s seat. After a 30 second struggle Davison was out of SBR’s pit bay reentering the race in 15th position on lap 109.

Thirty laps later as the race began to reach the dying stages Car #9 was forced to make an unscheduled stop to check the engines temperature when data alerted the team of the growing problem.

McIntyre and Gaunt’s troubles were not over yet either when Gaunt had to be pushed by the pit crew from half way down pit lane after running out of fuel. Gaunt was called into stop by engineer, Wes McDougall on the previous lap but overshot the pit lane entry forcing him to try and complete one more lap after switching over to reserve fuel.

Less than thirty laps later the chequered flag was out, Holden’s Garth Tander and Will Davison taking the honors after a tight battle to the finish. The Stone Brothers Racing Team now focus their attention on the upcoming V8 Supercar Championship Series event, the Nikon Super GP at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit 22-25 October 2009.

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #9

“We were going really well, we had been more or less up the front for most of the start of the race. It was when the second lot of rain came Courtney made contact with me which damaged the rear hub.

“When Shane hopped in it wasn’t really a drama, it was only leaking a tiny bit of oil at that point. When I got back in and when the boys pulled the wheels off it was obvious it was leaking quite a bit of oil.

“From that point on the car wouldn’t handle well and I couldn’t stop the car properly, it was a handful. There was oil going up the brakes and through all the tyres which is never good.

“On top of that we had a problem with the engine so really we were just lucky to make it to the end.

“We had such a great weekend until half way through today’s race, I hope Shane and I can pair up again next year and have real good go at it.”

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

“We were looking good early on. We did a stint each and when I jumped in it rained and with our strategy we found ourselves leading the race. We were really strong and pulled away.

“When I came in to stop I knocked the master ignition switch when I got out and that sort of stuffed our stop. The car was damaged already from the contact with Courtney, the oil was leaking everywhere and when the weather dried up you could see a lot clearer just how bad it was.

“It was good for the boys that we were in the hunt but to be so close but so far away is a bit disheartening.

“I would love to drive here with Alex again, even though our styles are so different the traits we like in the car are very much the same.”

John McIntyre – Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #4

“The race sort of started unraveling for us during my first pit stop when the elastic on the seatbelt was stuck in the left hand side belt, I spent 15 seconds trying to get it out. Subsequently it caused us to go a lap down.

“After I pitted we got ourselves back in the game and on the lead lap, I was really enjoying my last stint when with three laps to go the cars in front of me were all fighting and braked early and I came in a bit too quick in the chase. I was about to turn Greg Murphy around so I made the choice to bail out and went to the right and drove around the outside of the sandtrap.

“We kept fighting back all day, it’s a tough place, it would have been great to have finished in the top fifteen.”

“Nothing beats continuity with teams and equipment and I would certainly relish in the opportunity to come back with SBR next year and have another crack at it.”

Daniel Gaunt – Driver, IRWIN/SP Tools Racing Car #4

“The biggest thing for us was to finish with the car in one piece and we achieved that, the next step was to finish inside the top fifteen and that got away from us there at the end of the race.

“It was my fault that we ran out of fuel, I overshot pit lane and then had to do another lap and unfortunately there just wasn’t enough in the tank to make it all the way up pit lane. It was pretty gut wrenching really, after such a good stint I was looking forward to handing over to John and just watching and enjoying the end of the race.

“Overall, what an experience, not many guys can say they have had a first run at Bathurst with a well accomplished team like SBR.”

Pit Stop Report
Race Start – Car #4 Daniel Gaunt Start (wet weather tyres), Car #9 Alex Davison Start (wet weather tyres)
Lap 1 – Safety Car
Lap 7 – Car #9 Change to slick tyres/Fuel
Lap 8 – Car #4 Change to slick tyres/Fuel
Lap 33 – Car #9 Driver change (van Gisbergen in)/Fuel/Tyres
Lap 34 – Car #4 Driver change (McIntyre)/Fuel/Tyres
Lap 58 – Car #9 Driver change (Davison in)/Fuel/Tyres
Lap 59 – Car #4 Tyres/Fuel/Brake pads
Lap 69 – Safety Car
Lap 76 – Safety Car
Lap 81 – Car #4 Driver change (Gaunt in)/Wet tyres/Fuel
Lap 82 – Car #9 Driver change (van Gisbergen in)/Wet tyres/Fuel
Lap 83 – Safety Car
Lap 98 – Safety Car
Lap 99 – Car #4 Wet tyres/Fuel
Lap 109 – Car #9 Driver change (Davison in)/Slick tyres/Fuel/Brake pads
Lap 121 – Safety Car
Lap 131 – Car #9 Tyres/Fuel/Underneath bonnet check
Lap 135 – Car #4 Driver change (McIntyre in)/Tyres/Fuel
Lap 140 – Safety Car
Lap 141 – Car #9 Tyres/Fuel
Lap 157 – Safety Car
Lap 161 – FINISH

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