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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Clipsal 500


Stone Brothers Racing
March 20, 2011

The Clipsal 500 once again provided fans with a thrilling, event-filled race today at the Adelaide Parklands circuit, but bar a top ten finish for Alex Davison, the highs were few and far between in the Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) garage.

Qualifying this morning for the 250km race, the SBR Falcons struggled to make an impact and were destined for a tough race, with Tim Slade, Alex Davison and Shane van Gisbergen lining up on the grid for the final 76-lap stoush in 18th, 20th and 23rd places respectively.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, with Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon providing the majority of highlights in the opening stint, with a masterful display of wet-weather driving which the 21 year-old is famous for. Van Gisbergen blasted his way through the field, making up no less than 16 places in the trying conditions before tyre wear affected any further progress. In the latter stage of the race, van Gisbergen also battled the return of the virus that has been plaguing him all week which left him severely fatigued to the point where he was taken to the medical centre directly after the race for treatment.

On a brighter note, great strategy and the aid of several Safety Cars also saw Alex Davison move through the field from his starting position, and with some careful and calculated driving, brought his #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon home in tenth place – helping him maintain his fourth place on the Driver’s Championship points table.

#47 Lucky 7 racer Tim Slade also improved on his starting position, moving five places forward to cross the line in 13th place. Slade found the wet and greasy conditions arduous but kept a cool head under pressure, avoiding the drama that was going on around him.

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“That was a very long day! I really struggled for grip in the wet, I don’t know if it was a tyre pressure issue or what but the car definitely didn’t like the wet. Most of my race I just focused on not making any mistakes and keeping calm so I didn’t put it into the wall. When the track dried and we put slicks on the car was better balanced and with some more speed we were able to make up a couple of places.”

Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47

“We just struggled the whole race – it was a really tough day. Like Alex I just tried not to stick it in the fence. Every lap there were moments where I thought I was going to crash so it wasn’t a fun day.”

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

”The car was great in the wet but as soon as it dried out we lost a lot of speed and were nowhere so I’m not too sure what was going on there – it’s a bit of a mystery. I’m looking forward to Melbourne though and the Grand Prix where we’ll try a few new things and hopefully get some confidence back before the Championship resumes in Hamilton.”

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