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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  ITM 400 Hamilton


Stone Brothers Racing
April 15, 2011

Stone Brothers Racing emerged from today’s practice sessions in great shape for this weekend’s ITM 400 on the streets of Hamilton in New Zealand, with all three of its drivers posting some promising times.

“Local” racer Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon led the SBR charge, finishing the day third fastest, behind the two Triple 8 cars of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

Alex Davison also maintained his good form, pushing his #4 IRWIN Tools Racing Falcon in to the top ten to post the seventh fastest time, and Tim Slade in the #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon also showed promise finishing the day in 16th place.

With the final session marred by several red flags and an ever-changing track condition that hampered continuity, SBR maintained a steady show of speed that eludes to bigger and better things to come when qualifying begins tomorrow.

Ross Stone – Team Principal, Stone Brothers Racing

“Today was a solid start to the weekend. I’m happy with the progress of all three cars and I think we’re looking good for tomorrow.

“We’d just put new tyres on Shane’s car when the rain started to affect the track so we brought him in and switched back to his older set - so with the track getting faster towards the end I’m sure he would have been able to have a decent crack at (Craig) Lowndes’ time.

“Alex was comfortably inside the top ten and I think he has plenty left in him and the car for tomorrow and Tim will be up there too – it’s just a matter of putting it all together over that one lap.”

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

“The car today was good straight up and we were in the ballpark all day. As the track got faster so did we and we kept up with it which is promising.

“We put a second set of greens on but then the rain started and so we took them straight off because the track was really greasy and there was no way we’d be doing anything productive without the confidence of added grip.

“The rain was really weird out there today, it was all over the place – one minute a corner was wet the next it was dry and then wet again, and for minimal rain it really was slippery out there which made things tricky.”

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“It’s a solid result for sure. We took a little while to get going, it's probably safe to say we were struggling a bit throughout the first session and it took me a little while to get confident on the track. We were also trying to improve the IRWIN Racing Ford as well. At the end of the final session we put new tyres on but we didn't have a very clear run.

“Our fastest time, which put me into seventh place, wasn't done until my fourth flying lap due to traffic. I could have been in the top five. It’s good to know there is more in it with a clear lap. I can definitely feel where we need to improve the car, we are not far off, so it's quite positive. I know where we need the IRWIN Ford to be better. We'll look at making those improvements in preparation for qualifying tomorrow.”

Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47

“That was a fairly standard practice session – the car was good and we were able to try a few different things. The scoreboard doesn’t really tell the true story because our quick run wasn’t really timed to perfection but it’s all pointing in the right direction and I think we’re looking pretty good for a much better showing tomorrow.”

The SBR Falcons return to the Hamilton street circuit tomorrow at 10.20am (local time) for qualifying, followed by the Top Ten Shootout at 11.20am.

Combined Practice Results – (Top Ten)

1   888  TeamVodafone                   Craig Lowndes                   1:22.8070R 
2    88  TeamVodafone                    Jamie Whincup                   1:22.9604r 
3     9  SP Tools Racing                   Shane Van Gisbergen      1:23.0899  
4    14  Jana Living Racing             Jason Bargwanna              1:23.1303  
5    55  The Bottle-O Racing           Paul Dumbrell                     1:23.1470  
6    33  Fujitsu Racing GRM            Lee Holdsworth                  1:23.1549  
7     4  IRWIN Racing                         Alex Davison                      1:23.2283  
8    34  Fujitsu Racing GRM            Michael Caruso                  1:23.2550  
9     2  Toll Holden Racing Team   Garth Tander                       1:23.3115  
10    3  Wilson Security Racing      Tony D'Alberto                     1:23.3625  
16   47  Lucky 7 Racing                   Tim Slade                           1:23.4713  

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