A mixed bag of results came to TEKNO today at Winton Motor Raceway in races 26 and 27 of the championship.

Morning qualifying came in cool, overcast, but dry conditions – making it a tough ask to get the soft tyres up to temperature quickly.

With a different set-up in both the Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 and Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97, the team was hopeful of much better starting positions for today’s two 100km races.

For Shane van Gisbergen, this would come to pass, qualifying in 6th for race 26 and 10th for race 27 – the highest of any 888-built chassis, with Whincup and Lowndes both struggling.

Jonathon Webb had issues with understeer throughout the entire qualifying session, which compromised speed and saw him start race 26 from 24th on the grid and race 27 from 25th on the grid.

Race 26 was explosive off the start, with a crash on lap one after a coming together of Premat, Whincup, Ingall, & Caruso. Jonathon was lucky to avoid the carnage, and moved up to p21. His race would be struck an almighty blow by a sticking throttle on lap 14, bringing him into the pits for repairs. Great work from the team got him back out on lap 23, seven laps down and he spent the rest of the race lapping at the same pace as the leaders, in a demonstration of his speed.

SVG’s race was much less dramatic, gaining one position on the start, where he stayed for the duration of the race, battling with Courtney, D’Alberto and Reynolds at various times throughout the 34-laps. He raced intelligently, managing his tyres to bring home a valuable load of points.

Race 27 was panning out as another processional race, with SVG starting 10th and running 11th until a safety car period on lap 23 saw him pit for a fresh set of soft tyres. Around half of the field elected to pit, with the new tyres giving Shane the opportunity to power through to finish the race 5th, with another safety car period hampering his chances of climbing further.

Jonathon’s start was good, taking a couple of positions to be p23 when the safety car arrived. He elected to stay out on his older tyres, and gained a large amount of track position to be P10 under yellows. As those who’d changed tyres started to come through, he was pushed around and made a small mistake, running off circuit and back to P22 where he finished the race.

After the Winton 360, Shane van Gisbergen sits 8th in the Championship standings, with Jonathon 11th. TEKNO remains 5th in the Teams Championship.

How they saw it:

Jonathon Webb
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore
Race 26 finishing position: 24th
Race 27 finishing position: 22nd

“I struggled in qualifying, the car didn’t feel bad, the time just didn’t come. In the first race it felt pretty good, we were moving in the right direction, but with qualifying that far back here, it isn’t easy to get past, and then just as we started to find some pace, the throttle stuck and put paid to a good result. The was awesome in the second race, again starting at the back was tough, but the car was strong. At the end there, when safety car came out, we elected to stay on our older tyres, which I still think was the right decision. We just got bumped and rubbed, and then I made a mistake myself, which again put us at the back. The boys seem pretty confident with what we’ve found here, in the lead-up to Sandown, but it’s been frustrating running around at the back. We’ll work hard, as we did in the lead-up to this race, and fingers crossed start strong at Sandown, and stay there.”

Geoff Slater
Chief Engineer
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore

“Both cars changed a fair bit today, as we struggled yesterday in the cold and have done for much of the year. Shane made the most of it, whilst Jono made a small error in each qualifying session, so we started further back. He had fantastic race pace though, which should have seen him able to make his way through. A couple of issues and race incidents unfortunately saw him not do as well as he should have. The car showed great potential in that last race. I think Shane was 3rd fastest, and Jonathon was 8th fastest, so we’re moving forward with that cold climate pace. Bring on Sandown”

Shane van Gisbergen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore
Race 26 finishing position: 5th
Race 26 finishing position: 5th

“The first race was good, straight away we were much more competitive than we have been in the last few races, which was great. I was looking out the front window, not the back one, and I was challenging people, which was awesome. Even more improvement came for the second race, but we started further back. The racing was pretty boring, single file stuff until the safety car spiced things up. It was definitely the right call pitting for tyres. We lost five spots in the pits, but we made those up very quickly and then could move forward. Right call, and I’m proud of the guys. They took a gamble with the set-up today, and it paid off.”

Blake Smith
Race Engineer
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore

“We obviously struggled for form at Queensland Raceway, and we’ve struggled all year in cold conditions. We came here wanting to try a few things, we had some ideas. Unfortunately with the wet weather on Friday we couldn’t really try them, so we actually did a lot of our learning yesterday, and we didn’t get good results because we tried a few different things. But those things identified where we needed to head, and today was the result. Two top fives really sets up a good foundation for the usually cold race at Sandown.”