Shane stars on Adelaide streets
New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen made a spectacular start to his Australian V8 Supercar career with Stone Brothers Racing, finishing fifth overall in the 2008 series’ opening round on the streets of Adelaide last weekend.
Van Gisbergen followed up a 13th placing in race 1 on Saturday to come home fifth in race 2 and finished fifth for the round.
He’s sixth in the points standings.
“There was a lot going on today during the race,” he said on Sunday evening. “Plenty of desperate moves from a lot of the guys out there.
“But for me, it was a matter of keeping it really clean and straight.
“We had very consistent lap times right through the race.”
It was a mayhem-filled event, with several cars hitting the wall hard.
“I guess there were a lot of unfortunate drivers out there today, but we just tried to stick with the front bunch and we came away with the result.
“I really didn’t think we would be in the top five this early. It’s just awesome.
“I passed people like my childhood hero Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly, a V8 Supercar champion.”
Team manager Ross Strone rated Van Gisbergen’s performance “absolutely outstanding. To pass drivers such as Rick Kelly and hold him off for a number of laps was very impressive. Shane’s racecraft was excellent.”
Fellow Ford Falcon racer Jamie Whincup won both the 78-lap races.
Murphy took 11th and seventh placings to finish the weekend seventh overall. His Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore teammate Jason Richards was eighth. Murphy is seventh in the points standings and Richards is ninth.
Aucklander Fabian Coulthard (Falcon) is 14th on points, and Kayne Scott is 17th in the Team Kiwi Racing Ford.
“What a fantastic start to the year,” said round winner Whincup. “We’re always strong here at Clipsal and it was a matter of capitalising on that.
“On the whole we were disappointed with the Championship outcome last year, so what we had to do was work harder, make sure we did our homework and come back bigger and better in 2008.
“This is the kind of thing you dream of as a kid, to come to an event such as Clipsal and dominate, it’s just an amazing feeling.”