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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Skycity Triple Crown, Shane van Gisbergen


Stone Brothers Racing
June 19, 2011

Stone Brothers Racing’s (SBR) V8 Supercar prodigy Shane van Gisbergen, today chalked up his second career win in Australia’s premier motorsport category after a masterful display of driving at the Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin this afternoon.

Stone Brothers Racing’s (SBR) V8 Supercar prodigy Shane van Gisbergen, today chalked up his second career win in Australia’s premier motorsport category after a masterful display of driving at the Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin this afternoon.

And while van Gisbergen’s drive in the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon will steal the headlines, SBR’s other charges Tim Slade and Alex Davison also contributed to the Team’s best performance since the opening round of the Championship at Abu Dhabi – placing fourth and eighth respectively.

Van Gisbergen’s road to the top spot on the podium today wasn’t an easy one, after a tough qualifying session saw him having to start the race from 12th place on the grid – but this wasn’t a deterrent to van Gisbergen who once again delivered a performance well beyond what would normally be expected from the youngest driver in the field.

Relying on the strategy of holding back until the end of the race – when it counts – SBR again proved they had the right combination of driver, machine and engineering ‘know-how’ to get their three Falcons across the finish line inside the top ten.

Opting to start today’s 200km race on the harder compound ‘Control’ tyre, van Gisbergen, Slade and Davison switched to the softer ‘Sprint’ tyre with around 25 laps to go – and with the expected optimal ‘life’ of the soft tyre to be around 15-20 laps, the gamble was made that a Safety Car period would help extend this window and provide the opportunity for our boys to make further ground in the closing stages.

Unlike yesterday, where the late Safety Car caused all sort of problems for SBR, today it was a godsend and helped SBR’s strategy along, with all three drivers reeling in those in front of them in the closing stages of the race - with Slade and his Lucky 7 Racing Falcon nearly scoring his maiden V8 Supercar podium, and Davison coming from dead last after an off-track excursion earlier in the race to finish well inside the top ten.

Today’s excellent result sees van Gisbergen move back into third in the Driver’s Championship just 261 points from leader Jamie Whincup and 105 from second placed Craig Lowndes. It also cement SBR’s second place in the Team’s Championship behind Triple 8.

After regrouping at their Yatala base, SBR will now prepare for their assault on event seven of the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship which will be held on the streets of Townsville on 8-10 July.

Ross Stone – Team Principal, SBR.

“At the beginning of the weekend I sat down with all the guys and we talked about the importance of making this a ‘complete’ weekend – meaning that we would concentrate on putting in a solid performance right through practice, qualifying and the race. Today is the result of this coming to fruition. Shane brilliantly delivered what we expect from him, Tim narrowly missed out on his first podium after driving a really mature race, and Alex staged a great comeback from dead last – all proving our cars and drivers are on the money.”

Jim Stone – Team Co-owner, SBR.

“I’m pretty happy with today’s performance. Your strategy is made a lot easier when you have fast cars and that’s what we were working with this weekend – particularly on the soft tyres. I’m a little disappointed in our qualifying results but we’ll fix that. It’s great to get our second win for Ford and keep our second place in the Team’s Championship - I think now the message is out that we’re in town, and having some of the youngest drivers and engineer combinations that are now starting to gel there’s plenty more to come.”

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

“This is awesome! Yesterday was a bit of a shambles but we had a bit of luck with that last Safety Car and that’s what we were hoping for with our strategy. Our race pace on the hard tyre was pretty good but we didn’t really have enough to make a move early on. Add to that there was oil all over turn one after (Jason) Bright’s engine let go so that also made things interesting. In the last stint on the soft tyre the car was great and I was able to look after my tyres really well which the Safety Car helped with and for the final eight lap sprint home I had plenty of grip and was able to really push. I could see Craig was in trouble with his rear tyres and I didn’t have much left when I passed him either but it’s perfect for our championship.”

Tim Slade – Driver, Lucky 7 Racing Car #47

“This has been a really good weekend for the Lucky 7 Racing crew. We’ve had good speed all weekend and were never out of the top ten across all sessions which is promising. Starting up the front definitely makes life easier because you don’t get caught up in all the drama down the back. We only took two tyres in the first stop which was a good call by Wes (McDougall - his engineer) because we were able to make a position and surprisingly the car was pretty good on just the two fresh tyres. The final stint I pretty much settled in and followed Shane – I probably lost too much time trying to get past Whincup who never makes it easy at the best of times so when I finally did I caught back up to the lead three, but unfortunately we ran out of laps. This is an extremely good result and has made me hungrier for the podium more than ever. ”

Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4

“I suppose I am happy that we made a good recovery. I tried to make it as hard as possible in both races by going off the road. On Saturday I lost concentration and made a mistake, Sunday I forgot the oil was there at the race re-start and slid straight off. It’s disappointing to think what could have been. We fought our way up to the top ten from last, so it could have been a lot worse. Our race pace has been very good and the IRWIN Ford is generally looking after its tyres pretty well, so in both races over the weekend I was able to come back through the field. That part of our performance is pretty good. We are still trying to fine tune, we are working on some consistency and bit more speed in qualifying. Sunday was an improvement, we got back into the top ten, which is better than 24th like Saturday. Things are still ticking along, we are headed in the right direction. Eventually everything will click and hopefully we can get up on the podium soon. I think it’s coming

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