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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Australian Grand Prix


Stone Brothers Racing
March 27, 2009

The opening race of the AGP Manufacturers Challenge was an improvement for both SBR FG Falcons as both SP Tools Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen and IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison progressed through the field finishing 8th and 14th respectively.

It would seem the string of problems Davison has experienced with his new FG are behind him as he moved up five positions during the race from his starting position on the grid.

Alex Davison – Driver IRWIN Racing Car #4
“The main thing is we made more progress today. After the laps we did in practice we made some changes and it was better in qualifying, then we made some more changes and it was better again for the race. We are still not where we need to be, it still needs to look after the rear tyres better and we are having problems getting power down.

For tomorrow’s race as long as we keep moving forward, it would be nice to finish in the top ten, but whatever happens we will be happy if we come away understanding things a bit better with the car.”

The youngest driver in the field, van Gisbergen was matching times with the leader in the initial stages of the race as he set the quickest time in the second sector on the Albert Park Street Circuit. The SP Tools Falcon was quick but struggled to hang at the back of the leading group of cars as the race set-up was more suited for great speed in the early stages in hopes of potential safety car periods throughout the race.

Shane struggled to hold onto 7th position as a fast Jamie Whincup shot through the field and passed the #9 car on the final lap of the race.

Shane van Gisbergen – Driver SP Tools Racing Car #9
“The car was good to start with, we moved up a couple of spots but we were held back as the rear of the car went off during the race, whether we didn’t have enough adjustment on the rear bar or not we don’t know but the car was great to start with so we will work on it to keep it there the whole race.

Whincup was amazingly quick, for him to set his fastest time on the second last lap . . . they definitely have something special there, but we’ll find it.”

With no points up for grab in this weekend’s races the SBR team are looking to move forward in tomorrow’s race, keeping in mind the 15 lap sprints are a good opportunity to fine-tune the cars for the upcoming championship event in Hamilton, New Zealand, next month (17-19 April).

Ross Stone – Team Principle
“We moved forward today which is the main thing. Alex did a great job to move up to 14th; he has a lot more confidence in the car now which is important as we look to Hamilton as the next championship round.”

Tomorrow the V8 Supercars take to the track for Race 2 at 6:15pm AEDT.

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