V8 Supercar team TEKNO Autosports has had its most successful weekend in its short three year history, TEKNO’s two drivers Jonathon Webb and Shane van Gisbergen earning two pole positions, two top ten finishes and a win at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
From the outset, Webb and van Gisbergen were fast, setting times in the top ten throughout Friday practice. This was then translated to qualifying, securing Top Ten Shootout berth for both drivers.
Two clean shootout laps, saw Webb starting from P6 and van Gisbergen taking TEKNO’s first ever pole with a sensational lap around the Adelaide Parklands circuit in his Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods VF Commodore.
Van Gisbergen commented on his new team and new car after the shootout:
“All day we have been in the top five or thereabouts and it felt amazing,” Van Gisbergen said after his pole winning lap. “Thanks to Team TEKNO, they’ve done a great job.”
The short time available to learn his new Holden Car of The Future meant that van Gisbergen had a slow start for race one, slipping back through the field.
A gearbox issue saw van Gisbergen forced to retire with less than 15 laps remaining, sacrificing a potential podium finish.
A good start for Webb and a great strategy meant a competitive run all day, and a well-deserved 8th place finish in the opening race of the season.
“Today was a tough day in the office,” said Webb of the extreme heat experienced in the cars.
“I’m really pleased to have finished the first race of the season in the top ten. It’s a great way to kick-off. It’s a shame for SVG, but we’ll be back again tomorrow.”
Sunday brought another qualifying session, and Race 2 of the championship 250km of racing ahead. van Gisbergen set the track on fire at the death of the 20-min session, with a blistering 1:20.71s winning van Gisbergen and TEKNO their second pole for the weekend,
Webb’s fast laps were compromised due to a coming together between Garth Tander [Holden Racing Team] and Fabian Coulthard [Brad Jones Racing], resulting in P20 on the race two starting grid.
“It’s been awesome. Pole on Friday, pole again today. All I’ve got to do is remember to put it in gear at the start!
It’s been great, everyone here is stoked and to get two pole positions in a weekend is fantastic,” said van Gisbergen.
A circumspect Webb said, “It’s going to be a hard slog from P20, but all I need to do is be patient. We’ve got the car speed, so I’ll just do my best and hopefully we’ll be able to drive through the pack.”
In front of a sell-out crowd of 95,000 Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods’ Shane van Gisbergen had a great start to Race 2, slotting into the lead on Lap 2 and only relinquishing it during pit stops.
The #97 VF Commodore was the fastest car on track all day, with only a late race safety car putting any doubt on the result. A fantastic restart saw van Gisbergen drive away from the field to take TEKNO’s first win in a comfortable 2.2 seconds from Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
“It’s been great… It’s been overwhelming. I’m stoked to put a good race together,” van Gisbergen said.
“I got off the line alright today, which was awesome. Mark [Winterbottom] passed me but we were able to get by him.
“We’ve been amongst it all weekend. Thanks to the Webb family, and the Quinn family at V.I.P. It’s been a big off season so it’s good to deliver this,’ concluded van Gisbergen.
It was a busy day for Jonathon Webb, working through the pack, but superior speed to most meant he gained ten positions to finish 10th, completing a big weekend of TEKNO firsts with two cars finishing in the top ten.
“I’m ecstatic that Shane has won the race for TEKNO, and that I was able to get into the top ten. It’s been a pretty
great weekend for the team, a lot of firsts and I’m leaving Adelaide 7th in the championship, so I can’t argue with that! I can’t wait for the AGP,” said Webb post race two.
After the Clipsal 500, both TEKNO drivers are in the top ten on the points table, with Webb in 7th and van Gisbergen 9th. TEKNO Autosports/Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods currently sit 3rd in the teams championship.
The team will next appear at the non-championship Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix event in Melbourne over the weekend of March 15-17.