Shane van Gisbergen produced another solid race performance today finishing in 7th position of Race 18 at Sydney Motorsport Park, making it his twelfth top 10 finish of the year (Championship point events).
With a shorter two-day format suiting the driver of the #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon, van Gisbergen used the two morning Practice sessions to make changes to the car. Then in qualifying he waited until the final minutes before putting on green soft tyres to Qualify in 8th position.
Van Gisbergen got off to a solid start in the 36 lap race but struggled with speed early on hard tyres. He had an extended first stint giving him the advantage of running a shorter distance on soft tyres, and the strategy worked. He overtook six cars in the second stint, but after having lost time on hard tyres he was too far behind the leaders and finished in 7th position.
For Lee Holdsworth the day started extremely well and after putting on soft tyres at the end of the first Practice session, produced the fastest time. At the end of the second Practice he had planned to try out a green set of soft tyres but only managed to get in one lap after another car spilt oil over the track from turn five to pit lane.
Things didn’t go the way of the #4 IRWIN Racing team in Qualifying and having not had the chance to Practice with green soft tyres, he started Race 18 back in 25th position. Holdsworth started the race on soft tyres but struggled for speed early and as a result remained towards the back end of the field. An altercation with car #91 on lap 28 saw Holdsworth spin off the track. He was forced to pit to change tyres and finished the day in 26th.
The #47 Lucky 7 Racing team had an average day on track and sat mid-pack from Practice through to the race finish. Like teammate Holdsworth, Tim Slade didn’t Practice on green soft tyres after he too cut his second Practice session short after the oil spill. He Qualified in 16th position on the grid and crossed the chequered flag finishing in 16th.
Despite today’s setbacks, all three SBR drivers still remain in the top 10 of the Championship standings. Van Gisbergen still holds on to 5th, Slade is in 7th and Holdsworth is in 9th.
Lee Holdsworth – Car #4 IRWIN Racing:
“I thought we were going OK after practice but we had not tried any green tyres on. So in qualifying we put the new tyres on and we just can’t seem to get it to hook-up on a new set of soft tyres.
“We started 25th and began to make our way up, but pretty early on I knew we didn’t have something that we could fight with. The tyres did go off pretty quick and once we changed to the harder tyres we were battling with the back runners and we ended up in strife. Patrizi tried to pass me, but punted me off instead.
“The thing I’m most disappointed with is the speed, and not what happened at the end there. We need to get on top of it and hopefully start moving forward.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing:
“It’s an interesting format this weekend by V8 Supercars, but I support it and it’s been a busy Saturday. As a driver you spend a lot of time in the car which is good.
“Practice went well and we went through a few different things and then qualified 8th and got a great start in the race. But then on the hard tyre, which is the one we started on, we just didn’t have any speed until the end of the stint. It took a long time for them to come in which wasn’t so good and we lost a lot of time.
“We tried to extend that stint and put the softs on for a shorter stint to be fast, and we were, but we were just too far behind from lacking in speed on the hard tyre. We finished in 7th which isn’t too bad.”
Tim Slade – Car #47 Lucky 7 Racing:
“I think the two day format is really good and we get to spend a lot of time in the car. Unfortunately we just didn’t have the speed in qualifying today. Then in the race we started in 16th and finished in 16th, so the things we tried in the race just didn’t work.
“Tonight I will sit down with my engineer Wes, we’ll go through all the data and see where we can improve. Tomorrow is a new day, so we’ll just start over and hopefully get some better results.”
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Race 18– RESULTS:
1 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 56:17.3122
2 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 56:18.7733
3 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 56:30.7622
4 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 56:38.3482
5 66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall 56:38.5317
6 22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney 56:44.0430
7 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 56:48.1816
8 34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso 56:49.3387
9 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb 56:50.0852
10 8 Team BOC Jason Bright 56:50.2532
16 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 57:07.2448
26 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 57:05.9577
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Qualifying – RESULTS:
1 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 1:29.6353
2 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb 1:29.6542
3 6 Trading Post FPR Ford Will Davison 1:29.6894
4 34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso 1:29.7370
5 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 1:29.7468
6 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 1:29.7641
7 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds 1:29.7829
8 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 1:29.9396
9 3 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto 1:29.9510
10 66 Supercheap Auto Racing Russell Ingall 1:29.9526
16 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 1:30.2021
25 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 1:30.4207
Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Practice (Combined) – RESULTS:
1 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb P2 1:30.4514
2 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes P2 1:30.4794
3 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup P2 1:30.5573
4 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander P2 1:30.5665
5 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds P2 1:30.6692
6 34 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso P2 1:30.6958
7 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth P1 1:30.7673
8 18 Team Norton DJR James Moffat P2 1:30.7688
9 8 Team BOC Jason Bright P2 1:30.8000
10 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom P2 1:30.8473
14 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade P2 1:31.3408
25 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen P2 1:31.8805