Day two at Sydney Motorsport Park proved a tough day out for Stone Brothers Racing, but bump drafting by team mates Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade to pass Jonathon Webb provided a thrilling television moment in what was a relatively uneventful race.
Van Gisbergen was the best placed SBR driver for the start of Race 19 after qualifying his #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon in 11th. Slade and Holdsworth were placed in 18th and 24th respectively.
Van Gisbergen was slow off the line at the start of the race and dropped back to 17th on the first lap. Slade’s #47 Lucky 7 Racing Falcon was hit on the first corner causing him to drop back to 19th on the opening lap. The pair stayed within striking distance of each other for most of the race, swapping places with each other in the process.
Going into the final stop Slade was narrowly ahead, but a fast pit stop saw van Gisbergen exit pit lane ahead of his team mate by the slimiest of margins. They continued to race closely and were eventually held up together by car #19.
On lap 48, van Gisbergen made a move to pass. Not wanting to be left behind, Slade tucked himself behind his team mate and together they worked their way past in race technique known as bump drafting. Van Gisbergen finished in 13th with Slade just two seconds behind in 14th.
For Lee Holdsworth his day was much a repeat of yesterday’s, with the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon qualifying towards the back of the grid. That coupled with a drive-through penalty for speeding in pit lane made it difficult for Holdsworth to make any headway during the 59 lap race. He finished in a disappointing 21st place.
On the V8 Supercars points table SBR’s drivers are positioned: Van Gisbergen 5th, Slade 7th and Holdsworth 9th.
Ross Stone – Team Principal:
“We came here thinking we would be in the mix, but clearly it was a tough weekend. When you get locked into a weekend like that you just have to do your best to get through it. Now we have to go home and do our homework because the next two races are the endurance races and they are long days if you haven’t got a strong car.
“But you know in race trim the cars were actually pretty good, but when we were ready to go in the races we just didn’t have the position because of poor qualifying. It was just a tough weekend and we have to make sure we do our homework and get things right. And I’m sure we can, altogether as a group.”
Lee Holdsworth – Car #4 IRWIN Racing:
“We knew we needed to do something pretty dramatic from what we were doing yesterday to find some speed. So we tried going to the other extreme from what we had yesterday in qualifying and it obviously didn’t work.
“We still need to find some improvement in qualifying because in the race we actually had half a decent car. Today we cost ourselves a bit of time in the pit stop and also the drive through penalty for speeding in bit lane. So if we can qualify better I think we can race up there in the top five or six. That’s the hardest thing at the moment, qualifying.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing: “We started 11th and we had a pretty good qualifying car, but I mucked up the start of the race so we lost quite a bit there. We just didn’t really have anything on the first set of tyres and the second set was better but we were so far back. Then on the third set we were still just too far back so it was the same. It’s hard to take any positives from today except for qualifying because that was better.
“Having said that, the bump drafting with Tim was different. I couldn’t believe how fast the two cars were linked together and we both passed Webby which was nice because he was holding us both up. That was pretty cool, but doesn’t mean much when you are running 13th.”
Tim Slade – Car #47 Lucky 7 Racing: “The bump drafting with Shane to pass Webby was probably the highlight of the weekend. It was really another pretty disappointing day otherwise. We changed the car quite a lot overnight but we were still a way off.
“The car was reasonably good in qualifying on hards but we just couldn’t get the car to work on softs which is the opposite of what we normally are. And then again in the race the car was good on hards but obviously starting that far back, life is going to be difficult. Then I got bumped on the first corner too and dropped a heap of spots.”
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Race 19 – RESULTS:
1 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 01:27:43.9374
2 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 01:27:55.3802
3 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 01:27:57.4950
4 66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall 01:28:00.8288
5 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 01:28:07.9734
6 14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard 01:28:08.8310
7 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds 01:28:11.5630
8 8 Team BOC Jason Bright 01:28:11.9560
9 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 01:28:13.3355
10 22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney 01:28:29.6729
13 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 01:28:48.2606
14 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 01:28:50.4332
21 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 01:27:58.8141
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Qualifying – RESULTS:
1 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 1:29.2493
2 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 1:29.3821
3 8 Team BOC Jason Bright 1:29.4061
4 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 1:29.5834
5 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 1:29.6040
6 34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso 1:29.6987
7 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 1:29.7848
8 66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall 1:29.7995
9 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds 1:29.8378
10 14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard 1:29.8419
11 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 1:29.8512
18 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 1:30.1224
24 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 1:30.5840
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Practice – RESULTS:
1 66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall 1:30.4245
2 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 1:30.4926
3 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 1:30.7894
4 14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard 1:30.8536
5 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 1:30.8577
6 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 1:30.9049
7 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 1:31.0211
8 18 Team Norton DJR James Moffat 1:31.1524
9 34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso 1:31.2525
10 8 Team BOC Jason Bright 1:31.3705
13 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 1:31.4587