FINE BALANCE THE KEY TO SVG'S SUNDAY SIXTH
After showing podium potential in practice and qualifying on Friday, the young SP Tools-backed Ford Falcon driver was wrong-slotted by his pit stop strategy in Saturday's race, ending up back in 11th place when the chequered flag came out.
His weekend didn't get any better on Sunday morning, when he could only manage the ninth quickest lap time in the qualifying session for Sunday's race.
Come race-time though and the 22-year-old Kiwi combined impressive pace - setting the third quickest lap time - with admirable economy to finish sixth.
Having learned their lessons on Saturday all the teams ran conservative fuel strategies. The drivers were much more settled too, the Safety Car this time remaining in the pits for the duration of the race which was won by Will Davison - who was pipped on the last lap during Saturday's race by Jamie Whincup - from Ford Performance Racing teammate Mark Winterbottom, and the Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander.
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing:
"Yesterday I was not too happy about the race result, then today it was a pretty boring race. It felt like Nascar going so slowly and saving fuel, but it was a lot better car to drive today and sixth is a whole lot better than where we were yesterday.”
"In races like the one today you are just driving to fuel numbers and you can’t go faster than what you are told to do, so I was just in cruise mode. I don’t even have a mark on the car so it’s perfect for the boys. Every pass we did was clean and it was good racing so I’m happy with that.”
With solid finishes in both races at the Clipsal meeting van Gisbergen starts the 2012 V8 Supercar series eighth in the points standings which are led by Will Davidson from Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander.
Nextupis the non-championship meeting at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time then the second championship round of the 2012 series at Symmons Plans in Tasmania on March 30 and April 01.
Qualifying Race 2
1. Jamie Whincup 1:20.5353
2. Garth Tander 1:20.6395
3. Mark Winterbottom 1:20.6436
4. Craig Lowndes 1:20.8034
5. Rick Kelly 1:20.8160
6. Will Davison 1:20.9112
7. Lee Holdsworth 1:20.9115
8. Tim Slade 1:20.9172
9. Shane Van Gisbergen (SP Tools Ford Falcon) 1:20.9816
10. Michael Caruso 1:21.0460
Race 2 (78-laps)
1. Will Davison 01:48:31.4231
2. Mark Winterbottom 01:48:36.2684
3. Garth Tander 01:48:40.5133
4. Jamie Whincup 01:48:52.5977
5. Craig Lowndes 01:48:57.7579
6. Shane Van Gisbergen (SP Tools Ford Falcon) 01:48:58.9003
7. David Reynolds 01:49:11.2822
8. Lee Holdsworth 01:49:15.7393
9. Fabian Coulthard 01:49:25.7618
10. Tim Slade 01:49:25.8270
Points after Rnd 1
1. Will Davison 288
2. Jamie Whincup 270
3. Garth Tander 258
4. Mark Winterbottom 222
5. Craig Lowndes 206
6. Lee Holdsworth 201
7. Fabian Coulthard 186
8. Shane Van Gisbergen (SP Tools Ford Falcon) 174
9. Rick Kelly 168
10. Tim Slade 147