Shane van Gisbergen was back to his best at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 V8 Supercar series round in Queensland on Sunday, qualifying fifth quickest and joining runner-up Tim Slade and race and round winner Craig Lowndes on the podium
The result was in sharp contrast to Saturday, when the hard-driving young Kiwi struggled in qualifying (16th) and had to fight his way forward (to 11th and 8th) in the two back-to-back sprint races.
By coming back so strongly on Sunday, however, the two-time 2011 race winner has retained third place in the series points standings and heads into the endurance rounds in September and October in a strong position.
By joining Slade on the podium van Gisbergen also gave members of the Stone Brothers Racing team something extra to celebrate - the last time the team had two drivers in the same podiium was back in 2005 (with Russell Ingall and Marcus Ambrose).
“Tim has set a benchmark this weekend and I have to get myself back up to speed. We weren’t really there all weekend but we did make some changes to make the car faster but it (the car) probably didn’t really suit my style. I’ll sit down with Paul (engineer – Forgie) this week and make sure we’re back in shape for the enduros. It’s been a while since we’ve had a good run at the enduros so hopefully this year it’s our turn,” Shane said.
Ross Stone – Team Principal, Stone Brothers Racing, said: “I’m really pleased with all the boys’ performance this weekend. For Tim it was about putting together a complete weekend from practice, through qualifying and race results – he nailed them all and I couldn't be happier now that all three boys have tasted the podium this year. Shane found his way again today for another podium and Alex drove skillfully to fight back for a top ten finish. Add to that young Scott McLaughlin also scored his maiden race win in the Fujitsu Series for us, so I really couldn’t be happier right now.”
Points after Rnd 8
1. Jamie Whincup 1895
2. Craig Lowndes 1797
3. Shane van Gisbergen (SP Tools Ford Falcon) 1502
4. Rick Kelly 1418
5. Steven Johnson 1345
6. Garth Tander 1321
7. Mark Winterbottom 1321
8. Will Davison 1302
9. Alex Davison 1255
10. Lee Holdsworth 1140