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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  ITM 400 Hamilton


Stone Brothers Racing
April 16, 2011

Deplorable weather ruined Stone Brothers Racing’s chances of securing their first win on ‘home’ soil this afternoon at the Hamilton street circuit in New Zealand, in fact the only bright moment for SBR today was the careful and calculated drive by Alex Davison in the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon - finishing the 59-lap race just outside the top ten in 11th place after starting at the back of the grid in 28th place.

It was a disastrous day for Davison’s team mates, with early hope Shane van Gisbergen in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon having a series of dramas in pit lane ruining his chance of a podium finish, and #47 Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade crashing out spectacularly on lap 26 after succumbing to the treacherous conditions.

After starting in fourth place on the grid, Van Gisbergen excelled early considering the greasy racing surface, moving into second place to challenge Rick Kelly for the lead. But on lap 13 for what was to be a standard pit stop for fresh tyres and fuel, the SP Tools Racing Falcon overshot the slippery pit box and had to be backed up the lane, costing the young Kiwi no less than ten places on track. That wasn’t to be the only drama for Van Gisbergen in pit lane, on lap 21 he was caught up in a pit entry bottleneck caused by an out of control Lee Holdsworth, and endured a further loss of track position. Van Gisbergen valiantly fought on to eventually cross the line in 16th place.

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“With everything that was going on out there today (carnage) the result could have been a lot worse. To salvage 11th after starting at the rear of the field was a good outcome considering we weren’t the fastest car out there today.

“I spent most of the race just concentrating on not making a mistake which wasn’t easy. I had one small off early on which sent me up the escape road but thankfully that didn’t cost me too much time.

“We have a lot of work to do overnight to get the car back to its best, we lacked traction and drive and just needed more speed to be competitive but we’ll sort that out overnight and hopefully be running at the front tomorrow.”

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

“Today has left me feeling pretty empty. We were really fast early on and were looking good for a strong finish but then we had the dramas in the pit stops and everything from then on went pear-shaped.

“The positive we can take out of today is that we have a proven fast car and can come back tomorrow for another crack, under what is forecast to be some better racing conditions.”

Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47

“Starting back from where we did was always going to make the start a tough one which was illustrated on about the third lap when I got turned around by (Lee) Holdsworth.

“The car had good pace early in the drier conditions and wasn’t too bad in the wet either but it was all over when I locked up coming into turn one – I couldn’t wash any speed off and she didn’t want to pull up. Luckily there was a tyre barrier to help dampen the impact because otherwise it would have been pretty ugly.”

The SBR Falcons return to the Hamilton street circuit tomorrow at 11.00am (local time) for qualifying, followed by race two at 2.35pm.

Hamilton ITM 400 - Race one Results

1    15 Jack Daniel's Racing            Rick Kelly              
2   888 TeamVodafone                     Craig Lowndes
3     7 Jack Daniel's Racing             Todd Kelly              
4     5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon      Mark Winterbottom       
5     1 Toll Holden Racing Team    James Courtney          
6    17 Jim Beam Racing                 Steven Johnson          
7     6 Trading Post FPR Falcon     Will Davison           
 8    61 Bundaberg Racing              Fabian Coulthard        
9    11 Pepsi Max Crew                    Greg Murphy             
10   18 Jim Beam Racing               James Moffat            
11    4 Irwin Racing                          Alex Davison            
16    9 SP Tools Racing                  Shane Van Gisbergen     
DNF 47 Lucky 7 Racing                  Tim Slade
V8 Supercar Championship Points after race 5 of 27
1    Jamie Whincup                           603
2    Mark Winterbottom                     543
3    Craig Lowndes                           474
4    Rick Kelly                                     471
5    Fabian Coulthard                       435
6    Alex Davison                               420
7    Garth Tander                               414
8    Will Davison                                 402
9    James Courtney                          391
10   Shane Van Gisbergen             384
11   Steven Johnson                        362
12   Jason Bright                               342
13   Michael Caruso                         330
14   David Reynolds                         309
15   Greg Murphy                               309
16   Todd Kelly                                   278
17   Tim Slade                                   267

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