The Gold Coast 600 has been a happy hunting ground for TEKNO, and it so proved again today, with a mirror of our 2012 Saturday result, and the Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods team of Shane van Gisbergen and Jeroen Bleekemolen finishing in second place, behind Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff. Third was Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards.

It was a tough race all round, with the cars looking extremely second hand at the conclusion of the 102-lap, 300km epic. The team made fantastic calls on strategy all day, with a few safety car periods working in our favour to allow us to gain track position. Jeroen drove a great opening stint, leading many laps in a great battle with the Mercedes of Craig Baird.

Once Shane took over, he moved forward through the field, displaying his natural speed in the tight confines of the track’s concrete walls. At the final pit stop he took four tyres and fuels, whereas Lowndes took only two tyres, and slightly less fuel so was able to get the advantage, and maintain it to the end of the race.

It very nearly didn’t happen at all, however, as Shane made an error in the top ten shootout that tore the front left suspension out of the car. The team worked furiously in the 90 minutes available, and got the car onto the grid with minutes to spare.

The car 19 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea crew of Jonathon Webb and Marc Lieb qualified in p22 after Jonathon had an impact with a tyre bundle whilst on his fastest lap of the session. The damage caused took the team a couple of hours to rectify, however they also did a great job and had the car on the grid in great condition.

The race for them was a tough one, with Marc doing his best to make up ground in the first stint. Being in the mid-pack is never easy, especially here, and he did well to bring the car back straight and good to go for Jonathon.

Jonathon took over the car, and was able to make up some positions, and a couple of fast stops pushed them up the order to finish in tenth position for the day.

Two top tens at one of the toughest circuits of the season is a great result for TEKNO, and we’re excited for bigger results tomorrow!

How they saw it:

Jonathon Webb
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore

“It’s always a tough 300km around here, especially starting back where we were [p22]. It was always going to be tough, and we were never going to get on the podium, and stand next to Shane, unfortunately. Marc did a great job. He got a good, clean start, and he was happy with the car, but struggled to make his way through the field. Everyone was bumping and rubbing, and avoiding that Murphy/Dumbrell incident, so it was pretty tough. It brought it back in one-piece, and I was able to get into it. The car was good, but it wasn’t awesome and then from there we battled on. Pushed on as we could, had a couple of decent stops and popped out around about 10th place. From our perspective, it was a relatively uneventful day, which is good around here!”

Marc Lieb
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore

“It was really tough, when you start p22, it’s never easy. I felt that I had good pace, but it was hard to pass, and then I lost a lot of track position in the incident with car 22, which I’d previously gained, so that was tough. We made good calls with strategy and the safety cars, we jumped a few guys by staying on the same tyres. I think I ended up doing 40 or so laps on the same tyres, which is quite a lot. I had some other guys on newer tyres behind, but it was a good battle, good fun and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can start further up and make a really good race out of it!”

Shane van Gisbergen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore

“It was my mistake in the shootout, and we were a good chance for a top three I thought. I simply made a mistake and caused quite a lot of damage. The team did an excellent job to get the car ready, and right from the start the car was good. Jeroen did a great job, and led quite a lot of laps, which was great to see. I jumped in, and there were so many different strategies, with lots of people on different tyres, and fuel loads, so it was quite a strategic race. At the safety car we had to stop to take on the required amount of fuel, and we came out behind Craig [Lowndes]. I knew we were racing him, and we managed to pass him on track, but he jumped us at the last stop by only taking rear tyres. I thought I had a shot at him, and I was catching him for a few laps, but then he got going as his car balanced out. His pace was unreal. For rears only, it was really impressive. I knew we had to take more fuel on at the last stop, and I hoped we’d be a little bit closer to him at the end, but his pace was too good anyway.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore

“I dreamed of a podium finish, but it actually happened today! The team did a great job with strategy, and Shane drove really well. I had a good race, I was fighting in the lead due to other people pitting. I had a great fight with Bairdo [Craig Baird] for the lead, and managed to hold onto it, and then when Shane took over he passed so many cars on track, so I knew we were on for a good result. This is such a nice series. The racing is incredible. I’ve raced all over the world, but I think that this is the best racing, looking at how close everything is. There are no amateur drivers, everyone is a professional, they’re all really good. It’s tough for us to come over and do a good job, but it’s really fun as well. It was great to be on the podium here, and hopefully we can have another shot at it tomorrow. This has been very rewarding. I don’t know how to surf yet, but I think I’m going to have to learn!

“This result is for Sean Edwards. He was my best friend. We drove many races together, and hung out a lot away from the track too. It’s been a really hard week. I was crying in a race car, even during a race. This week has been much better, and it was really great to have that battle with Bairdo, because he knew him well too. I think somehow he was smiling down on us. I texted Bairdo as soon as I got out of the car. It was a hard fight, but fair, and it gave me strength. It was great to have a good race again. He was a great guy. He of the best racers. he could do anything. it’s sad that he’s gone, I still feel really bad about it. Hopefully time will cure it. He will be missed.”