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Davison 3rd Fastest on Debut at Hamilton

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Hamilton 400, Alex Davison, Ross Stone

Davison 3rd Fastest on Debut at Hamilton

Stone Brothers Racing
April 17, 2009

Hamilton turned on the perfect weather early for Friday’s practice sessions as a cool 17 degree day allowed for Shane van Gisbergen and teammate Alex Davison to start the race weekend in comfortable conditions at the V8 Supercar Hamilton 400 event.

The 3.3 kilometre street circuit has had some adjustments made since its addition to the series calendar last year with the chicane being modified for driver safety and the concrete barriers being pushed back on the main straight to improve spectator visibility.

The challenging track was a new experience for IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison as a disappointing start to the season in Adelaide forced him into taking to the circuit for Practice Session A, a session for those who finished outside the top 15 in points overall at the previous event.

The 35 minute session was an opportunity for Alex to learn the Hamilton circuit in a less congested session, after much time spent watching in-car footage from the 2008 races in preparation.

Kiwi whiz kid Shane van Gisbergen stretched the legs of his SP Tools Racing Falcon in Practice Part B for the 50 minutes session. Davison also re-entered the circuit looking to match the times of those more experienced on the Hamilton Streets.

Van Gisbergen, trying not to let the ‘home town’ pressure get to him managed a solid lap early good enough to post the quickest time ten minutes into the session.

An hour break before the final practice session gave Shane and Alex time with their engineers to debrief and make final adjustments to the car set-up.

In the final laps of Practice Session C, Hamilton rookie Alex Davison went to the top of the times with three minutes to go. The IRWIN Falcon posting a time of 1:23-8697, good enough for third overall once the session was closed.

Alex Davison – Driver IRWIN Racing Car #4
“We put a new set of tyres on for the last part of the final session, in the first session of practice we were out on a used set and by the end they were knackered. The point of our result today is that we are moving forward, it is only a practice session so I will let myself get excited for five minutes before I get back to the garage and we get on with it.

All the street circuits I have raced on are in Australia as there are not many overseas but the Hamilton circuit has high grip levels which means you can drive the car properly and really feel what its doing which is fantastic. Tyres bundles are a pet hate of mine I don’t think they have any place on a race track so I am really pleased they have removed them.

This is really my first practice session as we missed all bar two laps at Clipsal due to an engine failure and then the same thing happened at the AGP so I really enjoyed it out there today. The car felt good and was responding to each change which is most important.”

Ross Stone – SBR Team Principal
“I always love coming back to New Zealand because the spectators really know racing, it’s always a great atmosphere here and the Hamilton circuit is such a great facility.

I think we are starting to get in the hunt for podiums and the wins will follow, I don’t think podiums are too far away. We were always aware of Alex’s abilities and it was great to see the IRWIN Racing car up there at the end as Alex can be quite hard on himself.

I feel disappointed for Shane, he was definitely looking to be up there but never got a chance to run a new set of tyres due to a glitch with the car but its all been fixed and we will go from there.

Shane is doing such a good job, even in front of his family and friends that are here he doesn’t need any help to stay focused so I am confident he will finish the race with a solid result tomorrow.”

The V8 Supercars take to the track tomorrow for Leg 1 of Qualifying at 11:00am.

Results – Practice Friday 17th April
Car #  Driver  TeamVehicle
122Will DavisonHolden Racing TeamHolden VE
28Jason RichardsTeam BOCHolden VE
34Alex DavisonIRWIN RacingFord FG
4888Craig LowndesTeam VodafoneFord FG
539Russell IngallSupercheap Auto RacingHolden VE
651Greg MurphySprint Gas RacingHolden VE
79Shane van GisbergenSP Tools RacingFord FG
877Marcus MarshallInta RacingFord BF
95Mark WinterbottomFord Performance RacingFord FG
1010Paul DumbrellAutobarn RacingHolden VE

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