Stone Brothers Racing has had an exciting start to the V8 Supercars Abu Dhabi event with Shane van Gisbergen collecting 3rd place trophies for Races 24 and 25 at the Yas Marina Circuit. Teammates Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth also finished in the top 8 in both of today’s races.
The #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon lined up 3rd on the grid for the start of each race but with only a 12 lap sprint to the finish line either race failed to provide much action. In Race 24 van Gisbergen did manage to pass Will Davison on the opening lap, but his time in 2nd place was short lived. Davidson took back his starting position by lap three and van Gisbergen finished in 3rd.
The #47 Lucky 7 Falcon was positioned in 4th and the #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon was one place behind in 5th for the green light, but their positions went unchanged for the race and they too crossed finish line where they started.
For van Gisbergen, Race 25 played out in a similar fashion to the previous one but this time with no position changes for the top three cars. He again celebrated a 3rd place finish.
Race 25 provided a little more excitement for Holdsworth and Slade, and the pair started in 4th and 8th respectively. Holdsworth started strongly but was unable to hold his position and was overtaken by two cars, at the same corner, on the second lap. On lap five he was bumped by Reynolds and dropped two places when he spun off the track. He recovered well and managed to hold onto 8th place until the chequered flag.
Slade got off to a good start and moved up one place to 7th at the first corner, but with Reynolds hot on his tail he fell back to 8th when he was passed on the lap three.
The #47 Falcon moved up to 7th when Holdsworth spun and just a two laps later Slade overtook Reynolds and moved into 6th. His position went unchanged for the remaining laps of the race.
Lee Holdsworth – Car #4 IRWIN Racing:
“I was really happy with the first race and to finish top five again. It’s good to be back up there but this track is not really one that promotes racing.”
“We got off to an ok start in the second race, I didn’t gain any positions but I didn’t lose any. Obviously Winterbottom was pressing on pretty hard and I couldn’t hold him or Tander off. So I slotted into sixth there and thought we were going ok, but I had problems with locking rears in the race.”
“We ran a bit long through turn eight and as I turned the corner I got a hit from behind from Reynolds which turned me around. That dropped us back a couple of positions and we were actually lucky to stay where we were because I did a full spin. I finished eighth which was a good recovery but it was a little bit disappointing.”
“We had a good car for race one but not as good for race two so I think some of the changes we made we’ll go back on them. Hopefully we’ll have a good car for tomorrow; we’ll start in ninth and hopefully make our way back up.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing:
“Both races were pretty boring but you can’t complain too much when you’re in third. I couldn’t quite get to the font two, well I could have but it just would have burnt up the tyres so I just ran my own race. Just the feeling of being on the podium twice is good after the year we’ve had. It’s really good for the team to get two podiums.”
“On the podium the said that (New Zealand flag being displayed) and I said it would be good to have the anthem up there as well tomorrow.”
“In the second race the guys on the soft tyre just seemed to make theirs last a little bit better for the pace they ran. Frosty came at me in the end; I think he got within a second so pretty tight. Like Will said he would catch up to Jamie on some parts and I would catch up on others then be weaker on others. So we need to work out how to make the car better. But just to be on their pace and only need to make small changes is a pretty cool thing.”
“At F1 tracks and here we are always strong and we are always good at Melbourne, we won there this year. The tracks are smooth and there are not really any bumps so it’s tracks like that where we are really strong. Its tracks like Winton where we need to make improvements, it would be good to keep the same result and speed up but it will be tough there.”
“I think the format was pretty cool this weekend, we had a lot of pressure in Qualifying and I only had time for four or five timed laps, and you had to pick your best three. In the races with the different compounds you have to go out there with no feeling, straight into the race and work out what the car is going to do.”
Tim Slade – Car #47 Lucky 7 Racing:
“In the first race I was fourth at the first corner and I crossed the line in fourth so it was a bit of a non-entertaining race. I didn’t quite have the pace to go with Shane in front.”
“We tried to get the car right for the second race but it was hard tyre to soft tyre so that made things difficult.”
“We started eight in the second race because I didn’t really get qualifying right on that second set of tyres yesterday. We started eighth and managed to get up a couple of places and Reynolds turned Lee around so I got passed Lee then. Then I got past Reynolds because he just sort of dropped off a little bit in the middle of the race. And that was about it really.”
“We probably had the speed to maybe be one position further up, maybe we had better speed than Tander, but we need to get it better for tomorrow if we want to have a chance of getting on the podium.”
Abu Dhabi Race 25 – RESULTS:
1 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 26:48.8530
2 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 26:51.6540
3 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 26:57.5610
4 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 26:58.0630
5 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 27:03.5730
6 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 27:06.8240
7 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds 27:08.4520
8 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 27:13.5490
9 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb 27:18.2120
10 14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard 27:18.9470
Abu Dhabi Race 24 – RESULTS:
1 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 27:05.2950
2 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 27:09.3950
3 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 27:14.5060
4 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 27:15.9290
5 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 27:18.9220
6 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 27:20.1930
7 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 27:21.1220
8 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 27:23.1460
9 18 Team Norton DJR James Moffat 27:25.5500
10 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb 27:29.4130