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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Clipsal 500


Stone Brothers Racing
March 20, 2009

The new Stone Brothers Racing FG Falcons took to the Adelaide Clipsal circuit today for the first time. The morning sessions began with a 25 minute practice for drivers that finished outside the top 15 at the conclusion of the 2008 V8 Supercars Championship.

In his first on-track appearance, IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison experienced problems that resulted in the SBR crew making an early morning engine change to the #4 car. The IRWIN Racing Falcon came to a stop on its second lap out due to a loss of oil pressure. The engine change kept Alex out of remainder of the practice as well as the 45 minute session that followed.

Wes McDougall – Race Engineer Car #4

“We actually had two separate issues at the start of practice that compounded into a really big problem, firstly the engine oil pressure dropped and we also had no radio communication with Alex, making it worse and as a result we lost the engine. We are keen to give Alex as many laps as we can so now that is what we will endeavour to do in the warm up tomorrow and work on finding a strong race set-up.

The new qualifying start position rule affects our weekend in a really big way, we can potentially get up around the top ten tomorrow, but we would still have to start Race 2 near the back of the grid so it’s going to be a tough weekend for us.”

After getting back on track with 20 minutes remaining in the final practice Alex was able to get some laps in before the afternoon qualifying session. After a troublesome day Alex’s first race with SBR will see him start from 26th position on the grid.

Alex Davison – Driver IRWIN Racing Car #4

“We lost an engine in the first session after only one timed lap, so from that point on we were behind the eight ball and we will most likely be playing catch up all weekend. At least we have some time this afternoon to have a look over it all to try and find some more speed to get the car going better and get me going better.

Things seem to have been conspiring against us a little bit, it would have been good to get some laps down at the test day but it got rained out and then we lost the engine today in practice so we are going into the race a bit cold. They are long races this weekend so at least there is opportunity to make up lots of positions if all things go well. A lot happens in these races and it’s not out of the realm of possibility to get it up into the top ten.”

SP Tools Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen managed to keep SBR’s qualifying chances alive after a solid performance in the morning practice sessions. Making it through the first leg of qualifying Shane progressed to Leg 2, at the end of which the SBR crew changed to a new set of tyres to see Shane finish just outside the top ten in 12th position and unable to force his way into the shootout.

Engineer of car #9, Paul Forgie has seen much success at the Clipsal circuit previously with SBR’s Marcos Ambrose and feels his new protégé is capable of placing the SP Tools Falcon at the pointy end of the field at the end of Race 1 tomorrow.

Paul Forgie – Race Engineer Car #9

“Qualifying wasn’t too bad, obviously, we are a little disappointed that we didn’t make the top ten, but we are not unhappy, the car is in one piece. This is our first weekend together in a brand new car and with only half a day’s testing before we got here so I only think there is room to go forward.

“We missed a part of the track in qualifying, it changed a little bit on us and we couldn’t quite keep up with it. We will be pretty good tomorrow in the race the SP Tools FG Falcon is going really well, it has fantastic fuel economy, it’s a long race tomorrow and we are not too far back so hopefully we won’t get tied up in any of the carnage.”

Shane van Gisbergen - Driver SP Tools Racing Car #9

“In practice this morning we just got better and better, we were setting pretty good times on old tyres before putting on green tryes and only got in two laps because we out them on pretty late. In the second qualifying session the track had changed quite a bit, we were still quick but not quite quick enough so we missed out on the top ten which is where we wanted to be.

Tomorrow we start in a good position, the new qualifying start position rule is okay for us but on the other side of the garage not so. Some rounds it will hurt you and some rounds it won’t.”

The SBR FG Falcons will take to the track in a warm-up session at 11:25am tomorrow before the first of the two 250km races starting at 2:35pm.

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