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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Trading Post Perth Challenge, Shane van Gisbergen


Stone Brothers Racing
April 30, 2011

Stone Brothers Racing’s (SBR) Shane van Gisbergen continued his killer run today when he blasted his way through the field to record a fourth place finish in the opening 50-lap race at Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia this afternoon.

Starting mid-field in 16th position, van Gisbergen coupled brilliant driving with an equally smart pit-stop and tyre strategy, to make the most of what initially was looking like a tough day for the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon. Van Gisbergen carved up the opposition in the closing laps, making up five places in just 13 laps to come home just shy of a podium finish.

With the field struggling for grip on the sand-swept circuit, the call was made to extend van Gisbergen’s stint to squeeze as many laps as possible out of his tyres and then refresh all four tyres (as opposed to most team's decision to change just two) in his one and only pit stop.

While this cost van Gisbergen extra time in the pits, it was the right decision - with the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon enjoying the benefits of added grip when he resumed racing, and the ability to pass those struggling in front of him.

While van Gisbergen had a great day out, the same couldn’t be said for his SBR team mates Alex Davison and Tim Slade, who struggled to get the best out of their Falcons.

After a promising start, Davison in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon found the going tough with his car unusually hard on tyres making maintaining position - let alone passing - a difficult proposition. Davison pushed on to eventually cross the line in 21st place.

Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon unfortunately also found the going tough after enjoying a reasonably quick car early in the race. Making several positions off the start line, Slade held his own running as high as 14th, but tyre degradation soon got the better of the young South Australian’s car, and having to rely on just two fresh tyres after his pit stop, he slowly slipped back to cross the line in 22nd place.

But the story today is all about van Gisbergen, who after his recent win in Hamilton coupled with today’s result, sees him sitting in equal fourth position (with Will Davison) on the V8 Supercar Championship points table – and less than one race win away (140 points) from Championship leader Jamie Whincup.

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

“To start 16th and finish fourth makes for a good day. I took it pretty easy for about the first ten laps just finding my rhythm and then really started to push. We milked my tyres for everything they had and then came in and changed all four which really made a difference. It was a great strategy call by Paul and Nick (engineers Paul Forgie and Nick Stone) and although it cost us more time in the pits, once we were back out there I had plenty of pace and was able to start making some big moves. Today puts us back in the championship hunt so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow on the soft tyre.”

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“My car was just chewing through its tyres today. No matter what I tried with regards to changes nothing seemed to make it any better. It was so bad that I was wheel-spinning down the main straight. We’ll have a good look at it tonight because I suspect we might have some sort of problem with the car.”

Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47

“We did everything we could today but it was tough going. We made a good start picking up a few places and had good speed early on keeping up with Shane (team mate van Gisbergen), but changing only two tyres in our stop hurt us in the end. The weekend so far has been a struggle on the hard tyre so I’m looking forward to getting on to the softs (tyre) tomorrow.”

The SBR Falcons return to the Barbagallo circuit tomorrow at 9.00am (local time) for the final qualifying session that will decide the starting positions for the final two races.

Race one Results – (Top Ten)

1    88  TeamVodafone                       Jamie Whincup
2   888  TeamVodafone                     Craig Lowndes 
3     6  Trading Post FPR Falcon      Will Davison  
4     9  SP Tools Racing                     Shane Van Gisbergen     
5    17  Jim Beam Racing                  Steven Johnson         
6     8  Team BOC                                Jason Bright            
7    21  Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler      
8     5  Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon       Mark Winterbottom     
9    15  Jack Daniel's Racing            Rick Kelly              
10    1  Toll Holden Racing Team    James Courtney      
21    4  Irwin Racing                            Alex Davison            
22   47  Lucky 7 Racing                      Tim Slade

2011 V8 Supercar Championship points

1    Jamie Whincup              754
2    Craig Lowndes              644
3    Rick Kelly                        629
4    Will Davison                   614
5    Shane Van Gisbergen 614
8    Alex Davison                  550
23   Tim Slade                     293

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